Friday, November 11, 2016

Assembly passes bill on Cinema

The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Thursday unanimously passed a government bill on cinema and audio-visual production.In its justification for the bill, the government said that existing legislation did not stipulate what obligations the state and private business have towards cinema “in the face of the multiple and recurrent transformations, resulting from the development of new information technologies”.Without local support, Mozambican filmmakers resort to foreign sponsorship or international co-productions. The government noted that this “puts conditions on the content of films, thus limiting the freedom and creativity of our directors”.The bill thus declares that the state will promote Mozambican cinema and other audio-visual arts. It will create incentives, and promote investment in small and medium enterprises in this area.
Resultado de imagem para cinema moçambique
The state, the bill says, must also “create support mechanisms for the distribution and promotion of Mozambican audiovisual and cinema works on the national and international markets”.
The distribution, sale or rent of films or other audio-visual materials for commercial purposes will be subject to a licence issued by the National Audiovisual and Cinema Institute (INAC). To prevent piracy all audiovisual works must bear a sticker and a hologram, and the companies distributing videos, DVDs and the like will be subject to regular inspection to ensure that their wares bear the sticker and the hologram.Many of the bill’s provisions (including the sticker and hologram) are already in force, as the result of scattered earlier regulations. But they have proven ineffective in preventing informal vendors from hawking unlicensed DVDs on the streets.

The bill does not even mention the internet – but nowadays the main problem filmmakers face is that people download videos from the internet at almost zero cost. It is this that has driven once thriving video clubs out of business, and there is little that the cinema business or the government can do about it.One Mozambican filmmaker, interviewed by AIM, gave the bill a cautious welcome, since it will at least compel the state to provide some support for the Mozambican cinema industry.The bill was entirely uncontroversial and so passed its first reading unanimously and by acclamation. It will now be amended in committee, before a second and final vote in the Assembly plenary next week.

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