Black Public Media Awards $225,000 to Film and Technology Creatives at the Annual PitchBLACK Awards

Black Public Media Awards $225,000 to Film and Technology Creatives at the Annual PitchBLACK Awards

Black Community Media (BPM) has awarded a full of $225,000 in funding to 3 resourceful teams who competed at its PitchBLACK Discussion board, which took position Tuesday and Wednesday. The annual discussion board, which is the largest pitching level of competition for Black unbiased filmmakers and innovative technologists in the United States, is created to progress Black material and draws a “who’s who” of public television and professional distributors and funders. Winners have been declared Thursday night at the PitchBLACK Awards ceremony, which also honored celebrated documentarian Orlando Bagwell with the BPM Trailblazer Award. The a few-day function was hosted by CJ Hunt, film director, comic and previous producer for The Daily Display with Trevor Noah. Acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Issues 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 movie examines the problems and triumphs that women confronted during the 20th century civil rights period as they labored across the chasms of race, religion and location to fight versus racial discrimination and for women’s rights in Mississippi. McCurtis, a Los Angeles-centered resourceful writer, filmmaker, artist and director, has labored with Discovery Channel, A&E, Life span, NatGEO and PBS. Her quick movie, Listed here I will Continue to be, about a coalition of civil rights and Latino activists fighting for immigrant rights in Mississippi, is showcased on the acclaimed website system “Subject of Eyesight.” Silverman, an Altadena, California-primarily based producer, artist and social justice activist, has generated and offered cultural systems for far more than 35 several years. She serves as a producer on Wednesdays in Mississippi and has held executive positions at several nonprofit art establishments.

Two PitchBLACK Discussion board: Immersive opponents gained a whole of $75,000 in funding. 40 Acres by Tamara Shogaolu, a multiplatform exploration of Black American farmers and their romance with the land, acquired $50,000. The challenge includes a documentary tv series and an augmented fact sculpture that takes advantage of digital textiles. The immersive level of competition jurors applauded the project’s “journalistic aspects, as well as its use of tactile aspects. We sense like they had been coordinated beautifully.”

Shogaolu is a Los Angeles and Amsterdam-primarily based director, technologist and founder of Ado Ato Shots. Her perform has been featured at movie festivals, galleries and museums worldwide, including Tribeca Movie Competition, the New York Museum of Present day Art and the Countrywide Gallery of Indonesia. Shogaolu gained a BPMplus Fellowship from Black Community Media in 2021 to study and create 40 Acres.

Rabiola Open Skies by Leonardo Souza, a spot-primarily based working experience that invitations pedestrians to fly virtual kites on close by structures making use of their mobile telephones, gained $25,000. The projection-mapped set up will be customized to suit distinct partitions and structures, permitting gamers to regulate a single kite using their cell cellphone. The immersive competition jury explained, “We’d love to see this joyful piece pop up in general public areas all around the globe.”

The venture is a spinoff of Souza’s digital fact experience, Rabiola Tales, which is even now in improvement. Souza, a Rio de Janeiro resident, is the founder of movie and immersive output firm Okoto Studio and was the recipient of a BPMplus Fellowship in 2020 to exploration and create Rabiola Tales.

“Black General public Media is happy to award these proficient independent filmmakers and creative technologists with nicely-deserved funding so they can convey their timely assignments to existence. As in prior a long time, these winners have succeeded in connecting, informing and illuminating by way of partaking content material built to actually move the needle,” stated BPM Director of Courses Denise A. Greene.

This year’s BPM Trailblazer Award recipient, Orlando Bagwell, is acknowledged for his relocating, award-profitable documentaries about Black people today in The united states from slavery to existing-day, navigating racism and violence and arranging for alter. The Baltimore native and existing Brooklyn resident’s work has been showcased on tv, in theaters, at museums and main festivals close to the earth, garnering Oscar, Emmy and Peabody recognition. Sponsored by GBH, the BPM Trailblazer Award acknowledges documentary filmmakers with more than two a long time of practical experience working largely in community media as a producer, director, author or editor who have a robust keep track of history of mentoring other Black media makers.

This year’s PitchBLACK celebration incorporated a 7 days-extensive, virtual retrospective of Bagwell’s films, with registrants receiving particular access to watch Africans in The usa: The Terrible Transformation, Malcolm X: Make it Simple, Citizen King and 4 episodes of Issues of Race from April 25 by May 1. Two episodes of Eyes on the Prize that he directed are readily available to the basic community (people today who did not register for PitchBLACK). For extra information and facts, take a look at:

The Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, sponsored this year by Gimlet Media, was awarded to Spelman College or university senior and Milwaukee native Blanca Burch, who is majoring in worldwide reports. She will use her NCU fellowship to build AR factors for her new, interactive coloring guide The ABCs of Who I Can Be, which is intended to present small children the multitude of occupation options out there to them. The NCU Rising Fellowship, launched in 2016, supports creative technologists below age 30.

PitchBLACK 2022 movie jurors bundled Karen McMullen, characteristics programmer at Tribeca and DOC NYC Film Festivals Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, award-profitable filmmaker and Jamila Farwell, resourceful government at Netflix. Immersive jurors incorporated Kimberli Gant, curator, Brooklyn Museum of Artwork LaToya Peterson, Co-founder & CXO, Glow Up Online games and Loren Hammonds, co-head of documentary at TIME Studios.

Established and presented by BPM, PitchBLACK serves as a system the place television and film executives and funders assemble to identify rising Black expertise and persuasive tales. PitchBLACK 2022 is sponsored by the Corporation for Community Broadcasting, Netflix, Gimlet Media, GBH Earth, PBS, ITVS and New York Girls in Movie and Tv set.

For additional details on BPM or PitchBLACK, take a look at, and follow the organization on social media at @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.


Black General public Media (BPM) supports the growth of visionary written content creators and distributes tales about the world Black practical experience to encourage a far more equitable and inclusive long run. For a lot more information and facts, pay a visit to