Film industry: VJs, filmmakers at war

Mzee Bwanika J, Film Producer

As film makers aspire to streamline, structure and enhance a rewarding film fraternity; film venders and libraries have chosen not to sell Ugandan content in protest.


The laws surrounding “Intellectual Property” (film among others) are in the best interests of creative artists (the makers) with that territory because makers are the primary beneficiaries & custodians of the creative industry. This to some may sound bitter but its the fact.

Libraries have very much depended on pirated (stolen/downloaded) films. This has made them feel insecure to engage in legitimate business on assumption that government shall tax/licence them on indications of attractive profits.

The fact about this nature of business is; its cheap to secure a film forgetting that both the practitioners and the audience are not protected.

Victoria University


Libraries have chosen defiance/war by not selling local content/films on assumption that this would frustrate the local makers as the approach is sought to sustain library operators in the name of “job creation”.

Its upon this basis that we call upon every film maker to this cause.

The laws are very clear. One shall not sell a film; unless authorized by the owner and unless the film has been classified.

Our call to the general public & film makers; report every library that is dealing in unauthorized films to the authorities/police. A general file has been opened for all victims.

By unauthorised films, we are referring to unclassified copies and Copies that do not possess a security device that is recognised by the laws of Uganda.

The file is ready for such cases, just report to any nearby police station.


We as makers have tried to engage these people several times but they have chosen not to understand but rather settle for even less at the cost of everybody else.

Nobody is fighting the VJs and Library operators.

They deal in stolen films and are therefore criminals by law.

“Unless they change, CHANGE will change them.”

Classification of films does not in any way affect a video joker (VJ) but rather the makers. Makers are compliant with the laws because above every other reason, it’s through this order that business and the general public are protected.

Illegal distribution of films shall only crush our dear nation and generations to come after.

A parent is free to show anything to their children as long as the precautions are availed.

Imagine if we were living in a nation where every school would give independent grades to their students at the national platform or where everyone was free to   build and stay anywhere without cost.

Until you sit back and imagine of the consequences of such freedoms, you may never understand the relevancy of law.

Laws are not meant to destroy us, but to keep us in order.

It is ONLY a disorderly person who is afraid of the law.

Mzee Bwanika J, the author, is a Film Producer and an Independent Film Maker



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