1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.


   3.   No film to be made without permit.

   4.   Application for film permit.

   5.   Film permit.

   6.   Alterations and additions to films.

   7.   Offences under Part II.

   8.   Power to exempt films.


   9.   Appointment of licensing authorities.

   10.   Theatre licences.

   11.   Supervision to ensure safety.

   12.   Power to exempt premises.


   13.   Appointment of Censorship Boards.

   14.   Functions of Censorship Board.

   15.   Restriction on exhibitions.

   16.   Restriction on display of posters.

   17.   Application for certificate of approval.

   18.   Certificate of approval.

   19.   Validity of certificate of approval.

   20.   Effect of adding matter to a film after its approval.

   21.   Review of decision of Censorship Board.


   22.   Appointment of stage play authorities.

   23.   Restriction on performances of stage plays.

   24.   Application for certificate of approval.

   25.   Certificate of approval.

   26.   Effect of failing to alter play, or of adding matter.

   27.   Power to exempt stage plays.


   28.   Appointment of Secretary of Central Censorship Board.

   29.   Power of Minister to give directions to Censorship Boards and stage plays authorities.

   30.   Revocation of licences, etc., by Minister.

   31.   Power of Censorship Board to establish committees and to delegate.

   32.   Minister may delegate his functions.

   33.   Power of entry, etc.

   34.   Penalty.

   35.   Offences by corporations, societies, etc.

   36.   Appeals.

   37.   [Repeal and savings.]

   38.   Regulations.


An Act to regulate the Cinematograph Ordinance; to provide for regulating the making of cinematograph films, exhibiting of cinematograph pictures and performance of stage plays and for the licensing of theatres and to provide for related matters.

[1st July, 1984]

Acts Nos.
4 of 1976
7 of 1982


1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Films and Stage Plays Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "admitted" means admitted, whether on payment, gratuitously or by invitation;

   "amateur" means a person who makes films for his own entertainment and without expectation or hope of reward for the making of the films;

   "Central Censorship Board" means the Central Censorship Board appointed under section 13;

   "certificate of approval" means a certificate granted under this Act for the public exhibition of a film or for the public display of posters or for the public performance of a stage play;

   "cinematograph picture" means any picture whether with sound effects or not, made by means of a cinematograph or other similar apparatus;

   "exhibit" means give or make, or cause or permit to be given or made, or take part or assist in the giving or making of, any exhibition;

   "exhibition" means the projection of a cinematograph picture and includes the production of any music or other sound effect whatsoever which accompanies the projection;

   "film" means a cinematograph film, and includes any commentary (wherever spoken and whether the person speaking appears in the film or not), and any music or other sound effect whatsoever, associated with the film, and any part of a film;

   "film permit" means a permit to make the film of a cinematograph picture;

   "making of a film" means the act of photographing, performing or otherwise taking part in or arranging any scenes or episodes for the purpose of the production of a film;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for matters relating to censorship of films and stage plays;

   "poster" means any poster or other advertisement advertising a film or exhibition;

   "public exhibition" and "public performance" means respectively an exhibition and a performance to which the public are admitted;

   "Regional Censorship Board" means a Regional Censorship Board appointed under section 13;

   "stage play" includes tragedy, comedy, farce, opera, barletta, interlude, melodrama, revue, pantomime, dialogue, prologue, epilogue and every other dramatic entertainment and any part thereof;

   "theatre" means any building, premises or place at which a film is publicly exhibited or a stage play is publicly performed;

   "theatre licence" means a licence to use a place as a theatre.


3.   No film to be made without permit

   (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section and of section 8 of this Act, no person shall direct, or take part or assist in the making of a film, whether intended for exhibition or sale either within or outside Tanzania except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a film permit granted by the Minister under this Part.

   (2) A film permit shall not be necessary for the making of a film by an amateur for private exhibition to his family and his friends.

4.   Application for film permit

   (1) Every application for a film permit shall be made to the Minister in writing and shall be accompanied by a full description of the scenes and a synopsis of the spoken parts (if any) of the entire film to be made, notwithstanding that part of the film is made or is to be made outside the United Republic:

   Provided that the Minister may in his discretion in any particular case accept an application notwithstanding that it is not accompanied by such description and synopsis if he has been given such other information as he requires for the determination of the application.

   (2) If any title, subtitle, text, description, synopsis or other part of the film is in a language other than Swahili or English the Minister may require a translation thereof into Swahili or English, certified to his satisfaction, or may submit the same for the examination and report of such person or persons as he may appoint for the purpose.

   (3) Where the film is to include any scenes likely to endanger the safety of any person or property or in which animals are to be photographed, the applicant shall state in his application the precautions proposed to be taken to preserve the safety of any such person or property, or to prevent cruelty or suffering to such animals.

5.   Film permit

   (1) The Minister may, in his discretion, grant or refuse to grant a film permit for which application has been made under this Act, or may issue it subject to the observance of any regulations made under this Act, or to such special conditions and restrictions to be specified in such permit as he may deem fit.

   (2) Before granting a film permit the Minister may require the applicant to enter into a bond with or without sureties in such sum as the Minister may require to secure that the film, so far as it is made, subject to any regulations, or special conditions made by the Minister under subsection (1) and in accordance with the description, synopsis and other information supplied to the Minister, together with any alterations and additions for which permission has been granted under section 6 of this Act.

   (3) The Minister may also require as a condition of the grant of a film permit that a public officer duly authorised in that behalf shall be present at the making of the film or any part thereof, and further that any such officer may, in the exercise of his discretion having regard to any special or general directions issued to him, intervene to stop the making of any scene which in his opinion is objectionable or endangers the safety of any person or of any property not being in the possession or disposition of the maker of the film or which is cruel or causes suffering to any animal and, in the event of any such intervention, every such officer is hereby authorised to use such reasonable force as in the circumstances may be necessary to stop the making of the scene.

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