Transmedia in Emerging Markets: Spotlight on Africa: Business, Film and Activism

I recently have had the privilege to work with the new organization Storycode to create a panel series called Transmedia in Emerging Markets, to catalyze discussions around the potential role of transmedia storytelling to build vibrant cultural sectors and leverage local voice in developing economies, as well as current trends in investments, business, civil society programs and media production that may allow for transmedia business models to flourish in emerging markets.

We launched the series with a "Spotlight on Africa: Business, Film and Activism," which I curated and led at Storycode's presenting partner, the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  Joining me for the evening were G. Kofi Annan, Hugo Soskin of 18 Days in Egypt, Franco Sacchi of the Nollywood Workshops, and Layna Fisher of the Sierra Leone International Film Festival. An important connective thread among all the presentations is the harnessing of local voice and local storytelling, and the tremendous economic and cultural possibilities arising from this.

The videos of the event are below.  The program starts at 5:00 in the first video, so please click through to there.  My introduction and discussion with Kofi starts at 8:00 minutes in the first video.  Kofi brings us through a thorough discussion of the consumer base in Africa, and current activity in the technology, media and business sectors, as well as the role of local storytelling in presenting the diversity of images and stories in Africa.

Watch live streaming video from transmedianewyorkcity at

Videos from Layna and Franco start at 9:20 in the second video. Layna speaks about filmmaking, distribution and the potential for transmedia to broaden the reach of the Sierra Leone International Film Festival, and interviews media creator Vicki Remoe about the state of digital filmmaking.  Franco presents the history and richness of the Nollywood film industry, the second largest in the world.  [Note: Since the audio quality of Layna's video is poor, her standalone video is embedded at the end of this post.]

A brief presentation of additional projects relating to storytelling and to transmedia activism concerning Africa starts at 45:00 of the second video.  My discussion with Hugo begins at 49:30, and covers 18 Days in Egypt, the forthcoming transmedia activism project harnessing local storytelling from citizens and activists in Cairo during the Egyptian revolution, as well as technological innovations in group storytelling.

Watch live streaming video from transmedianewyorkcity at

[Layna's video from the evening]:

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