Black Public Media (BPM) — an organization committed to educating, enlightening, empowering and engaging America about the Black experience — has just announced that 10 producing teams will compete for a chance to win up to $150,000 in project funding at its upcoming PitchBLACK Forum.
According to a press release shared with AfroTech, the PitchBLACK Forum — an interactive pitching competition for Black creators — is a high-stakes event that merges the concept behind BPM’s intensive 360 Incubator+ Fellowship — a holistic professional development program — to fuel the existing pipeline of quality Black content.
“The strength of BPM’s 360 Incubator+ is the collaborative effort of our mentors and workshop leaders combined with the amazing talent of our fellows,” BPM Director of Program Initiatives Denise Greene shared in a statement. “Even in a virtual environment, there was a strong sense of community and a shared mission to elevate Black stories.”
Since January, 360 Incubator+ has offered up virtual workshops on pitching, grant writing, budgeting, licenses, distribution and more to help program fellows, but PitchBLACK is an extension of BPM’s overarching mission to amplify and support Black creativity.
PitchBLACK itself serves as a platform where TV industry executives and funders can go to in order to identify rising Black talent and stories. Past attendees for the competition include notable entities such as BBC, BET, Color Creative, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ford Foundation, PBS, Tribeca Film Institute, and many more.
The 10 projects — broadcast programs, series, and digital series — that will be competing in the competition include “Before We Wrap” by Elizabeth Charles; “Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts” by Dru Holley; “Fighting for the Light” by Yeleen Cohen and Ife Olujobi; “Higher 15” by Ameha Molla and Rajal Pitroda; “Inner Wound Real” by Carrie Hawk and Chelsea Moore; “Listen to Me” by Stephanie Etienne and Kanika Harris; “Storming Caesars Palace” by Hazel Gurland-Pooler and Naz Habtezghi; “The Food Griot Chronicles”(working title) by Tonya Hopkins and Laura Colleluori; “The Ride” by Allison Shillingford and J. Lathon; and “What’s in a Name?” by Malkia Lydia and Khalil Munir.
For participants who win the competition, up to three projects will be awarded a license agreement ranging between $50,000 and $150,000.
A press release shares that this year’s pitching event also includes a new BPMplus Showcase that will feature up-and-coming tech film and art projects by Black creative technologists.
The virtual pitch competition — which will be hosted by award-winning veteran producer and BPM’s incubator creative consultant Sandy Rattley — will be April 7-8.
Winners will be announced at the PitchBLACK virtual awards on Friday, April 9, at 7 p.m., where documentary filmmaker Marco Williams will also receive the BPM Trailblazer Award.
For more information about Black Public Media, visit its website.