Charleston, South Carolina

A Bit of Input on INPUT

Black Public Media

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by Leslie Fields-Cruz

This week in Charleston, S.C., hundreds of public media executives and television producers gather for the annual event known as INPUT. Regular readers of BPM’s Weekly Dispatch will know that I’ve mentioned INPUT before. In fact, I mention it quite a bit. Why? It’s the only conference where one can see public media content from around the world. Seriously, I’ve screened programs from the UK, Nigeria, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Guatemala, France, and of course the U.S.. I assure you, the definition of public media content is quite different outside of the U.S.

Each year, countries select their most outstanding or unusual programs to submit to the international review panel. That panel, which includes U.S. public media’s own Xavier Blake (currently the executive director of Columbia Arts in South Carolina), screens the submitted films and curates a series of program strands for INPUT.

Qiona Woffard (photo credit: Katelyn Walsh)

Unlike a festival, where there may or may not be a Q&A with the filmmaker after the film. INPUT screenings are moderated by a shop steward who engages the audience in deep critical discussions about the content. If you’re someone who majored in cinema studies, as I did, INPUT is like being in a candy factory. EVERYBODY has something to say after the lights come up, and sometimes the debates get heated. WHEW — calm down everyone, it’s just a movie.

If you’re at INPUT this week, #BPM on IG and keep an eye out for BPM Special Programs Manager Qiona Woffard, who’s there reppin’ for BPM. Have fun Qiona!

— Leslie Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media

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Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about the African American and global Black experience.