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UCC Moves To Regulate Film Industry

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is set to enforce the licensing of the cinematograph theaters and video libraries; where over 98 percent face closure.
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is set to enforce the licensing of the cinematograph theaters and video libraries; where over 98 percent face closure.

 

The UCC, a regulatory body of communications in the country, is implementing its mandate derived from UCC Act 2013 which empowers it in part V1, Section 37 of the Act. The Act says a person shall not operate a cinematograph theatre or a video or film library without a license issued by the Commission.

 

Paul Mukasa, the Manager of broadcasting content and regulation, says the clampdown will be put in effect after the countrywide sensitization of the stakeholders in the film industry on the urgent need to register with UCC.

 

He said over 98 percent of businesses in the film industry will be closed down because they are operating illegally in the country that has a well streamlined laws governing communication.

 

Mukasa said all film makers, film distributors and film exhibitors at all levels will be allowed to operate only after they have been cleared and issued with license from UCC.

 

 

He was speaking in Mbale at the weekend during a meeting to engage and sensitize the stakeholders on various laws regulating the film industry and need to register their businesses in time.

 

Mukasa said when the film stakeholders are licensed, it will be made easier for the commission to fight against piracy of films, adding that because of increased piracy the owners of the films are not benefiting from their works.

 

Med Kaggwa, the head of multimedia at UCC said because of failure to implement the laws, cinema halls mostly in rural areas and suburbs are operating under poor state, which threatens people’s lives.

 

He also noted that if the industry is well streamlined, the government will tap a lot of revenue from the sector as well as job opportunities for the youth will be created, in a country which is crippling with high unemployment level.

 

On enforcement of licensing, Jack Sserunkuma, working with Uganda Culture Centre, welcomed the idea saying it is meant to protect and to also enable the artists to benefit from their works. 

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