Black Public Media Awards $225,000 to Creatives of Black Film and Immersive Technology Projects

Black Community Media (BPM) has awarded a full of $225,000 in funding to a few inventive teams who competed at its PitchBLACK Discussion board, which took place Tuesday and Wednesday.

The once-a-year discussion board, which is the most significant pitching competitiveness for Black independent filmmakers and resourceful technologists in the U.S., is made to progress Black content material and attracts a “who’s who” of general public tv and industrial distributors and funders. Winners were being introduced Thursday night at the PitchBLACK Awards ceremony, which also honored celebrated documentarian Orlando Bagwell with the BPM Trailblazer Award. The 3-day event was hosted by CJ Hunt, film director, comic and previous producer for The Day-to-day Display with Trevor Noah. Acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Fantastic Trouble and The Way I See It) served as keynote speaker for the awards ceremony.

Marlene McCurtis and Joy Silverman’s documentary Wednesdays in Mississippi was awarded $150,000. The film examines the issues and triumphs that girls faced for the duration of the 20th century civil legal rights era as they worked throughout the chasms of race, faith and area to combat in opposition to racial discrimination and for women’s rights in Mississippi. McCurtis, a Los Angeles-dependent innovative writer, filmmaker, artist and director, has labored with Discovery Channel, A and E, Life time, NatGEO and PBS. Her limited movie, Below I’ll Continue to be, about a coalition of civil rights and Latino activists battling for immigrant legal rights in Mississippi, is highlighted on the acclaimed world-wide-web platform “Field of Eyesight.” Silverman, an Altadena, California-based producer, artist and social justice activist, has produced and introduced cultural applications for a lot more than 35 yrs. She serves as a producer on Wednesdays in Mississippi and has held government positions at several nonprofit art institutions.

Two PitchBLACK Discussion board: Immersive opponents received a total of $75,000 in funding. Tamara Shogaolu‘s 40 Acres, a multiplatform exploration of Black American farmers and their romantic relationship with the land, gained $50,000. The job comprises a documentary tv sequence and an augmented actuality sculpture that takes advantage of digital textiles. The immersive competitors jurors applauded the project’s “journalistic aspects, as perfectly as its use of tactile factors. We come to feel like they were being coordinated fantastically.”

Shogaolu is a Los Angeles and Amsterdam-based director, technologist and founder of Ado Ato Pics. Her do the job has been highlighted at movie festivals, galleries and museums globally, together with Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Museum of Contemporary Artwork and the Countrywide Gallery of Indonesia. Shogaolu obtained a BPMplus Fellowship from Black General public Media in 2021 to study and develop 40 Acres.

Rabiola Open up Skies by Leonardo Souza, a location-dependent knowledge that invitations pedestrians to fly digital kites on close by properties utilizing their mobile telephones, obtained $25,000. The projection-mapped installation will be personalized to suit unique walls and properties, letting players to regulate a solitary kite making use of their mobile telephone. The immersive level of competition jury claimed, “We’d like to see this joyful piece pop up in community spaces all over the world.”

The task is a spinoff of Souza’s digital actuality encounter, Rabiola Tales, which is still in developmentSouza, a Rio de Janeiro resident, is the founder of movie and immersive generation company Okoto Studio and was the receiver of a BPMplus Fellowship in 2020 to analysis and develop Rabiola Tales.

Black General public Media is proud to award these talented unbiased filmmakers and artistic technologists with effectively-deserved funding so they can convey their timely assignments to existence. As in prior many years, these winners have succeeded in connecting, informing and illuminating via engaging material designed to truly go the needle,” explained BPM director of applications Denise A. Greene.

This year’s BPM Trailblazer Award recipient, Orlando Bagwell, is acknowledged for his going, award-profitable documentaries about Black men and women in The us from slavery to current-working day, navigating racism and violence and arranging for adjust. The Baltimore indigenous and present-day Brooklyn resident’s get the job done has been showcased on television, in theaters, at museums and main festivals about the planet, garnering Oscar, Emmy and Peabody recognition. Sponsored by GBH, the BPM Trailblazer Award acknowledges documentary filmmakers with extra than two decades of experience working generally in general public media as a producer, director, writer or editor who have a potent track record of mentoring other Black media makers.

This year’s PitchBLACK function provided a 7 days-extensive, digital retrospective of Bagwell’s movies, with registrants receiving specific obtain to view Africans in America: The Awful Transformation, Malcolm X: Make it Plain, Citizen King and four episodes of Matters of Race from Apr. 25 via May well 1. Two episodes of Eyes on the Prize that he directed are accessible to the standard public (folks who did not sign up for PitchBLACK). For additional facts, stop by below.

The Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, sponsored this 12 months by Gimlet Media, was awarded to Spelman College senior and Milwaukee native Blanca Burch, who is majoring in global research. She will use her NCU fellowship to create AR elements for her new, interactive coloring book The ABCs of Who I Can Be, which is meant to exhibit youngsters the multitude of career options offered to them. The NCU Emerging Fellowship, started in 2016, supports resourceful technologists less than age 30.

PitchBLACK 2022 movie jurors included Karen McMullen, capabilities programmer at Tribeca and DOC NYC Film Festivals Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, award-winning filmmaker and Jamila Farwell, inventive executive at Netflix. Immersive jurors provided Kimberli Gant, curator, Brooklyn Museum of Artwork LaToya Peterson, co-founder and CXO, Glow Up Video games and Loren Hammonds, co-head of documentary at TIME Studios.

Made and introduced by BPM, PitchBLACK serves as a platform the place television and movie executives and funders assemble to discover increasing Black talent and compelling tales. PitchBLACK 2022 is sponsored by the Corporation for Community Broadcasting, Netflix, Gimlet Media, GBH Entire world, PBS, ITVS and New York Women of all ages in Movie and Tv.

For much more data on BPM or PitchBLACK, visit, and observe the organization on social media at @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.