PitchBLACK is Less Than A Month Away!
Also, AfroPoP Season XV starts next Monday, April 3
by Leslie Fields-Cruz
We recently confirmed that Brittany Luse, host of It’s Been a Minute, NPR’s show on culture and society, will join us at next month’s PitchBLACK Awards. She’ll conduct a fireside chat with our 2023 BPM Trailblazer, Yoruba Richen. It delights me that we’re in a position to have these two amazing Black public media professionals on our stage together. I’m looking forward to their conversation and hope you are too.
We’re also excited to have three talented individuals join us as emcees this year. Our dear friend and veteran producer Sandy Rattley, who has served as creative consultant to our 360 Incubator+ program for the past four sessions, will emcee our Film Forum on April 25. The April 26 Immersive Forum emcee is former journalist turned advertising research executive, Tameka Kee, of the Advertising Research Foundation’s Center for Innovative Media Measurement. Then, the evening of April 27, Baltimore-based comedian “Sir Alex” Robinson will close out the week as emcee of this year’s PitchBLACK Awards.
When we started PitchBLACK eight years ago, we strove to provide an opportunity for Black talent and their work to get seen by those in public media who fund and greenlight documentary projects. Since we started, we’ve awarded more than $1 million in funding, have seen two projects go to broadcast and have seen two more become web series. Several others are on their way to completion.
During next month’s event, five film teams and six immersive teams will pitch projects at PitchBLACK Forum. At the PitchBLACK Awards, we’ll present Yoruba with our Trailblazer award, we’ll announce the recipient of the Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, and we’ll give away up to $225,000 in project funding to the pitch forum winners. The formalities will be followed by a lively afterparty for those who attend in person. And the next day, we’ll start preparing to do it all again next year.
If you haven’t already registered to join us at PitchBLACK, do it today. The hybrid event is free and open to all who register. Together, we’ll have a fabulous time celebrating these wonderful creatives and the stories they tell.
Finally, don’t forget, AfroPoP Season XV starts next Monday! Tune in on our YouTube channel and stream all five episodes at your convenience starting at midnight, April 3.
— Leslie Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media and board chair at New York Women in Film and Television