African Cinema’s Growing Market

-A +A


The Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), is the largest and most popular film festival in Africa—next week, leaders in the film industry will host a West Coast Discussion here in the U.S. dealing with the challenges and opportunities in meeting the needs of the global cinema marketplace at FESPACO.

Discussions will be headed by Rashid Bahati, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for Lead Dog Entertainment, Inc.

Entitled “The New Standard,� the panel discussion will focus on new thinking for Black cinema in the areas of international distribution, marketing, technology and finance. "We are extremely excited about participating in one of the largest and oldest festivals on the African continent FESPACO which is also a Film and Television Market for African content,� says Bahati.  “With the globalization of content distribution FESPACO has become a growing market to access film content that wouldn't be assessable to a western audience.�

He says Lead Dog Entertainment’s business model as a distribution company is to gain license rights to new film content which expresses the global Black experience and provide it to audiences here in the US and other western markets. The panel will include top industry leaders from the African Diaspora, including Zoe Elton, director of programming at the Mill Valley (CA) Film Festival; Cornelius Moore, director of the California Newsreel Library of African Cinema; Kevin Arkadle, producer at Ivory Coast Pictures; Sonya Childress, director of outreach for Firelight Media; and Dr. Maude M. Dikobe, professor of African Diaspora Studies at the University of Botswana.

Bahati is a founding partner of Lead Dog Entertainment of Beverly Hills and serves as the company’s senior vice president of development and acquisitions. Lead Dog Entertainment specializes in the distribution of independent films that showcase the global Black experience. Bahati is also the co-founder of the Global Cinema & Urban Music Initiative, a platform for the broader distribution of Pan African content.

The panel is hosted by Promoting Reel African Images (PRAI). PRAI facilitates submissions to African film festivals for works eligible for consideration for Diaspora prizes. PRAI also acts as a distribution network and an archive for award-winning films.

The panel is scheduled for Monday, February 26th at 10 a.m. in the Imagine Centre at PRAI headquarters at the FESPACO festival.

Bahati can be reached at or (888) 432-0690

To comment on this article, or to advertise with us, or to subscribe to New York’s favorite Pan-African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us news tips, please call (212) 481-7745 or contact

Our motto: "Speaking Truth To Empower."

Also Check Out...

Lincoln Center and Interfaith
Sounding the Alarm about
Interfaith Leaders Confront World