Shining a Light on Diversity: Black Public Media Announces 2023 PitchBLACK Forum and Awards

(Last update: March 8, 2023)

black public media (BPM) will hold its sixth PitchBLACK Forum – the largest pitch competition for black and independent filmmakers and creative technologists in the United States – on April 25-26. will be announced at the PitchBLACK Awards on April 27, honoring the award-winning filmmaker and educator Yoruba Richen and hosted by a Baltimore-based comedian Mr Alex. PitchBLACK and the PitchBLACK Awards will take place at Green Space in Manhattan.

PitchBLACK will be supported in 2023 and 2024 by Netflix’s Creative Equity Fund, a dedicated effort to help create new opportunities for underrepresented communities in entertainment. This new grant from Netflix builds on previous support given in 2020 to BPM, a major funder and champion of black cinema, and has helped transform the once biannual event into an annual industry opportunity for creatives. black.

Since launching PitchBLACK in 2015, BPM has awarded over $1.5 million to 17 different projects, some of which have aired on PBS, WORLD Channel, Create and PBS Digital. Alumni of the program have produced for PBS, CNN, Showtime, Netflix, HBO, BET, NBC, The CW, and more.

The PitchBLACK Forum is a high-stakes funding competition for documentary and immersive media producers/directors developing new projects about the black experience. Producers and technologists compete for prizes of up to $150,000 in funding in front of a panel of media professionals and an in-person and virtual audience of funders, distributors and industry leaders.

Photo credit: James Brooks

This year’s forum culminates BPM’s 360 Incubator+ program, an intensive three-month fellowship under the mentorship of veteran producers offering participants the opportunity to develop a film, web series or engagement project. The event includes the PitchBLACK Film Forum on Tuesday, April 25; and the PitchBLACK Immersive Forum on Wednesday, April 26. The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday, April 27 during the PitchBLACK Awards honoring Richen, whose works have captured the joys and hardships of black life, with films about Rosa Parks, Harry Belafonte, the murder of Breonna Taylor, and more. Again. With this honor, Richen joins the ranks of other BPM Trailblazer Award winners. Orlando Bagwell, Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson, And Marco Williams.

BPM will also present the Nonso Christian Ugbode Scholarship to a recipient yet to be announced. The scholarship is named after the late Director of Digital Initiatives at BPM.

The PitchBLACK Immersive Forum and the PitchBLACK Awards will be streamed live on BPM’s social media channels. The PitchBLACK Film Forum is by invitation only.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Alisa Norris, Head of Fund Development and Corporate Partnerships for BPM, at Entertainment industry executives and funders who wish to attend the PitchBLACK Forum in person can request access here.

PitchBLACK 2023 is sponsored by Netflix and Gimlet Media, with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For more information on BPM, visit Follow the organization and watch the events on @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.

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