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

NEW YORK — Black General public Media (BPM) has awarded a complete of $225,000 in funding to three imaginative teams who competed at its PitchBLACK Forum.

The yearly forum, which is the largest pitching opposition for Black unbiased filmmakers and resourceful technologists in the United States, is created to advance Black content material and attracts a “who’s who” of general public television and industrial distributors and funders. Winners ended up introduced Thursday night time at the PitchBLACK Awards ceremony, which also honored celebrated documentarian Orlando Bagwell with the BPM Trailblazer Award. The three-working day function was hosted by CJ Hunt, movie director, comedian and former producer for The Everyday Demonstrate with Trevor Noah. Acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It) served as keynote speaker for the awards ceremony.

Marlene McCurtis and Pleasure Silverman’s documentary Wednesdays in Mississippi was awarded $150,000. The movie examines the problems and triumphs that females faced for the duration of the 20th century civil rights era as they labored across the chasms of race, religion and area to struggle towards racial discrimination and for women’s rights in Mississippi. McCurtis, a Los Angeles-dependent imaginative writer, filmmaker, artist and director, has worked with Discovery Channel, A&E, Lifetime, NatGEO and PBS. Her short movie, In this article I’ll Remain, about a coalition of civil rights and Latino activists combating for immigrant legal rights in Mississippi, is showcased on the acclaimed website system “Field of Eyesight.” Silverman, an Altadena, California-primarily based producer, artist and social justice activist, has generated and offered cultural programs for far more than 35 years. She serves as a producer on Wednesdays in Mississippi and has held executive positions at various nonprofit artwork institutions.

Two PitchBLACK Forum: Immersive opponents won a total of $75,000 in funding. 40 Acres by Tamara Shogaolu, a multiplatform exploration of Black American farmers and their romantic relationship with the land, been given $50,000. The task comprises a documentary television collection and an augmented fact sculpture that utilizes electronic textiles. The immersive level of competition jurors applauded the project’s “journalistic areas, as very well as its use of tactile things. We experience like they were coordinated fantastically.”

Shogaolu is a Los Angeles and Amsterdam-dependent director, technologist and founder of Ado Ato Photographs. Her operate has been showcased at film festivals, galleries and museums worldwide, like Tribeca Movie Festival, the New York Museum of Modern Artwork and the National Gallery of Indonesia. Shogaolu acquired a BPMplus Fellowship from Black General public Media in 2021 to exploration and develop 40 Acres.

Rabiola Open Skies by Leonardo Souza, a spot-based working experience that invitations pedestrians to fly virtual kites on nearby structures using their cell telephones, received $25,000. The projection-mapped installation will be tailored to healthy particular partitions and properties, allowing for players to control a one kite working with their mobile mobile phone. The immersive competitiveness jury said, “We’d appreciate to see this joyful piece pop up in public spaces close to the world.”

The venture is a spinoff of Souza’s virtual fact encounter, Rabiola Tales, which is nonetheless in improvementSouza, a Rio de Janeiro resident, is the founder of film and immersive manufacturing organization Okoto Studio and was the receiver of a BPMplus Fellowship in 2020 to investigate and develop Rabiola Tales.

Black Public Media is proud to award these gifted impartial filmmakers and creative technologists with very well-deserved funding so they can bring their well timed projects to existence. As in prior decades, these winners have succeeded in connecting, informing and illuminating by means of participating written content built to seriously shift the needle,” stated BPM Director of Programs Denise A. Greene.

This year’s BPM Trailblazer Award recipient, Orlando Bagwell, is acknowledged for his moving, award-winning documentaries about Black men and women in The us from slavery to existing-working day, navigating racism and violence and organizing for change. The Baltimore indigenous and existing Brooklyn resident’s function has been showcased on tv, in theaters, at museums and important festivals all-around the environment, 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 functioning principally in general public media as a producer, director, writer or editor who have a strong track history of mentoring other Black media makers.

This year’s PitchBLACK event provided a 7 days-lengthy, digital retrospective of Bagwell’s films, with registrants getting special accessibility to view Africans in The us: The Terrible TransformationMalcolm X: Make it BasicCitizen King and four episodes of Issues of Race from April 25 by way of Might 1. Two episodes of Eyes on the Prize that he directed are offered to the normal general public (people today who did not sign up for PitchBLACK). For additional information and facts, pay a visit to:

The Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, sponsored this year by Gimlet Media, was awarded to Spelman University senior and Milwaukee native Blanca Burch, who is majoring in intercontinental studies. She will use her NCU fellowship to produce AR parts for her new, interactive coloring book The ABCs of Who I Can Be, which is intended to display young children the multitude of occupation prospects out there to them. The NCU Rising Fellowship, launched in 2016, supports imaginative technologists less than age 30.

PitchBLACK 2022 movie jurors incorporated Karen McMullen, characteristics programmer at Tribeca and DOC NYC Movie Festivals Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, award-successful filmmaker and Jamila Farwell, inventive govt at Netflix. Immersive jurors involved 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 offered by BPM, PitchBLACK serves as a platform where television and movie executives and funders get to identify climbing Black expertise and powerful stories. PitchBLACK 2022 is sponsored by the Corporation for Community Broadcasting, Netflix, Gimlet Media, GBH Entire world, PBS, ITVS and New York Gals in Film and Tv set.

For extra details on BPM or PitchBLACK, visit, and follow the firm on social media at @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.