Broadcasters and online streaming platforms in Kenya will soon be allowed to self-classify content exhibited on their platforms if the proposed regulations are adopted by industry stakeholders.
The proposed regulations are meant to help the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) deal with the huge volumes of audio-visual content that requires regulation in the digital age.
Currently, KFCB is required to classify and assign an age-appropriate rating to all films meant for broadcast, distribution and exhibition in Kenya. Digital migration has increased the number of local TV channels as new commercial digital audio-visual platforms have emerged and proliferated.
KFCB, therefore, cannot cope with the volumes of film content that requires classification before broadcast and distribution within Kenya.
According to the proposed self-classification regulations published on March 28, 2023 for public participation, broadcasters, Video on Demand and Over the Top service providers will classify all audio-visual content on their respective platforms.
Applicable entities will first be required to apply for authorization to self-classify subject to payment of the prescribed fees and undergoing mandatory training on the local film classification guidelines.
The training will help applicable entities curate their classifications tools in harmony with the local classification standards.
The overall objective of the Films and Stage Plays (Self Classification) Regulations 2023, is to enhance compliance with film sector laws and to align regulation with technological trends, market realities. It is also part of the Government strategy to grow the creative industry through talent monetization.
The Government has further proposed a new film rating, PG 13, in a move meant to bridge the huge rating gap for content meant for children aged between 10 and 16. The current local film ratings include the General Exhibition (GE), Parental Guidance (PG), 16, 18 and Restricted.
Other proposals in the Films and Stage Plays Regulations and Guidelines include a 15% reduction in filming fees for local filmmakers. The public consultations on the proposed regulations will close on Friday April 21, 2023.