One day after a Channel 4 News report on Congo’s “Terminator”, a sequel to the record-breaking Kony 2012 video is expected to premiere online.
Invisible Children, the California-based charity behind the films, has said that “Kony 2012: Part II” will give more details and context than the first, which documented the atrocities carried out by Joseph Kony’s Lord Resistance Army in Uganda.
The 30-minute video broke records last month after clocking up more than 100m views on YouTube and Vimeo in less than a week, but drew fierce criticism for simplifying war and politics in Africa.
Jedidiah Jenkins, Invisible Children’s director of ideology, said that the follow-up film, which was announced on the group’s Facebook page and blogging site last Friday, will include more voices from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA is currently based.
Posts on the Invisible Children Facebook page and Tumblr state that the sequel will also include an update on “Cover the Night”, a series of awareness-raising events scheduled for 20 April.
Nobody could have predicted the success of Kony 2012, least of all those behind the video, so the desire to make a follow-up must be huge. Peter Sigrist
But despite the hype surrounding the original film, one digital marketing expert is predicting less positive results for the sequel.
Peter Sigrist, a director of digital marketing agency 33 Digital, said: “Nobody could have predicted the success of Kony 2012, least of all those behind the video, so the desire to make a follow-up must be huge. But as any Hollywood veteran will tell you, the sequel is rarely as successful as the original hit.”
But Mr Sigrist warned against making too many predictions when it comes to the web.
He added: “Now people have a less positive attitude towards the cause, and celebrities and politicians are less likely to provide such vocal support, it would be very surprising for the second video to do as well as the first.
“But you never know – sheer curiosity could mean that everyone who watched the first film will be intrigued enough to watch the second. The good thing is, on the web, all this is transparent, so we’ll know the answer in a week.”
The director of the original Kony 2012 video, Jason Russell, is currently recovering from a mental breakdown after neighbours filmed him running naked through the streets of San Diego, shouting and swearing. His wife Danica has blamed the breakdown on stress.
The 33-year-old filmmaker also faced criticism after it emerged that only $2.8m (£1.74m) of the group’s $8.9m (£5.6) spending has gone directly to helping Uganda.