Blogs: What VJ Junior arrest means to film industry

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Bwanika is a filmmaker and producer

The arrest of a Bukedde TV icon, VJ Junior (Matovu Marysmart), and his colleague, has drawn mixed reactions from sections of the public.

The duo arrested for inciting violence, then charged for distributing pornography, and there after charged for distributing unclassified films and infringing on copyright.

Local film makers have fallen victims as they are sought to be fighting VJs and movie translation. TRUE or FALSE; only time can prove that.

Film makers have however celebrated the government’s move to enforce the laws surrounding the commercial utilisation of films in Uganda which may greatly explain why film makers are seen as fighting VJs.

The law above every other interests favours Ugandan because we are Ugandans, and serves the interest of film makers.

=>Downloaded Films

It is OK to download and watch a film. The law is clear when one intends to distribute such film for public use and or for commercial purposes.

These laws have been in place for over 10 years and amazingly, film venders, library operators & a few VJs don’t want to open these pages but rather are waiting for government to put up classes and may be; educate them at their own will.

=>Real Case

Media has emotionally reported about this matter. Bukedde TV among others is fighting so much to prove the legality of VJ Junior’s film business.

Reliable source have informed that VJ Junior is a partner with this TV station and the fact that this TV station is highly ranked in broadcasting unclassified and copyright infringed films, it is believe that the station is using VJ Junior as a shield for their unclear broadcasts.

The licensors of media houses have deliberately looked aside as film makers works are illegally exploited at a national scale.

This explains the fact that the public has remained confused about the on going VJ Junior scandal as they fail to connect the arrest of VJ Junior with the continuous Bukedde TV broadcasts.

=>NRM T-SHIRTS

When VJ Junior appeared on Bukedde TV in protest of Media Council 8th May Ultimatum that banned all unclassified films; he used NRM T-shirts which he supplied to some of his boys and colleagues to try and seek the attention of the president.

The boys that put on these T-shirts are FDC diehards but in a move to buy cheap popularity from the state, they were supplied with NRM T-shirts.

Upon this basis, they have moved this video to various NRM offices trying to get the attention of the president.

Despite their various connections with senior citizens, the president has emphasized zero tolerance to impunity and this time like never before, he has identified the incompetence of his stuff.

The president is aware of the laws surrounding creative arts and more so, after his visit in the EAC, the president looks forward to legitimizing creating arts in a way of boosting the country’s welfare.

This explains the reason why attempts to see the president have still failed.

=>THE ARREST OF KAYE DENNIS

Another king facilitator of piracy was netted and taken into custody on the evening of 26th May. Over charges of inciting violence, Kaye Dennis was also behind the mobilisation to see that VJ Junior was realized.

Upon his arrest, they tried to get Junior’s attention to help a colleague out of jail but all calls ended in vain as Junior claimed to have travelled out of town.

=>State House Commission of Inquiry

Reliable sources have confirmed that State house has put a Commission of Inquiry in the matters of Uganda’s film industry.

It has also been realised that some members of this commission through some senior citizens are trying to align VJs and Indian/Asian pirates to poss as film makers.

This is sought to provide a platform of challenging the existing laws before the president.

=>Film makers journey

Film makers have forever a decade waited for government to enforce the laws surrounding and this time that we can see light at the end of the tunnel, media house and film practitioners that deal in illegal films have ganged up to show the public that we are fighting Ugandan VJs yet it’s we the makers that have poor quality films.

TRUE or FALSE, the cost of pirating a film is UGX 5,000 which includes downloading the film, downloading its cover and may be use Microsoft word to insert on the name of a VJ that translated it.

The least cost of producing a Ugandan film that is being referred to a bad is; UGX 5M which may equate to 1000 pirated films.

Truth is, however bad a Ugandan made  average film could be, you will hardly equate it to 1000 pirated films where the pirate employees the maximum of 3 people; inclusive of him in the process.

Film makers are at the edge of this war and the silence is authorities shall only crush Ugandan’s film industry but shall sale off the birth right of the nation to turmoil.

Aspiring for a structured, prosperous and rewarding film fraternity;

For God and my Country.

Mzee Bwanika, is a film Maker and producer