Legal Basis for Film Classification
Part III, Section 12 of the Films and Stage plays Act cap 222 stipulates that:
(1) No person shall exhibit any film at an exhibition to which the public are admitted or distribute such film unless he is registered as an exhibitor or distributor by the Board and issued with a certificate.
(2) No film or class of film shall be distributed, exhibited or broadcast, either publicly or privately, unless the Board has examined it and issued a certificate of approval in respect thereof:
Provided that this sub-section shall not apply in respect of -
i. educational documentaries which are approved by the;
- Kenya Institute of Education; or
- Films restricted for use in the medical profession.
(3) Any person who exhibits any film in contravention of the provisions of subsections (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence.
The Purpose of Film Classification
- To provide consumer advice to enable individuals to make informed viewing choices for themselves and for any children under their care.
- To protect children from exposure to disturbing and harmful content, and from premature exposure to adult experiences.
Factors Considered during Film Classification
- Context and the overall theme of the content.
- Possible impact that the content might have on the audience, especially young ones.
- Frequency and intensity of classifiable elements observed in a film.
Restricted/Banned: Films in this category may contain materials that erode the moral fabric of society, undermine national interest and/or stability; or create disharmony among various racial and religious groups. Content is not allowed for commercial screening.
Film Restriction: Section16(4) of Part III of the Film and Stage Plays Act stipulates that KFCB shall not approve a film or poster that, in the Board’s opinion, tends to prejudice the maintenance of public order.
The Board also restricts any content that may offend common decency; or which may be undesirable in the public interest.