Representatives drawn from the creative industry and the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) have today Friday 25th October, 2016 resolved to continue engaging on the review of the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap 222.
The parties have also agreed unanimously to end the acrimony that has pervaded the initiative to review the Act, which aims to make it consistent with the Constitution and to address new industry demands in the interest of the creative industry.
In a joint press conference held at the National Museums of Kenya earlier today, the Kenya Film Classification Board and the Creative Economy Council agreed to work together in revising the law to spur industry growth and to enhance protection of children from harmful film and broadcast content.
“A time has come to review this bad law. Past generations have missed the opportunity to change the law to facilitate growth in the creative sector,” said Council Chairman Mr. George Gachara.
The proposal to review the Act was floated by the Board early October this year, opening the door for extensive industry participation in the process. The move was prompted by concerns that the Act was clogging smooth operations among practitioners in the industry.
And unlike before, stakeholders represented at the conference spoke neatly from the same script and in an organized manner, expressing unequivocal support for the review, and optimism that the film law review will proceed calmly.
“I want to assure the industry that the Board will continue to consult all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Sports Culture and the Arts, and will make sure the process is as smooth, participatory and inclusive as possible,” said Board Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua
The CEO took the opportunity to commend the industry for taking up the review initiative positively, saying the amendment of the Act will continue to be informed and driven by the industry to the very end.
He said while it is normal for misunderstanding to beset a legislative process, that should not be allowed to hinder progress in the important industry development objective.
‘The Board will work with the Committee to facilitate a smooth and all-inclusive process that will endeavor to have a legislative framework for the growth of the industry while safeguarding moral values, and to protect children from exposure to harmful content,” he said.
“It is important to note that reviewing Cap222 is part of the Board’s performance targets. I urge the industry to continue working working with us in this crucial objective for the benefit of the creative industry”, said Dr. Mutua.
The press conference was attended by representatives of various associations in the creative industry in Kenya, including players in the public and private sectors. The schedule for cross-sector engagement will be announced in due course.
We will continue to keep you posted on the progress of this important process, which promises a new beginning for the creative industry.
If all goes to plan, the industry is expected to have developed a complete draft by early next year, reflecting the input of all stakeholders.