NEW YORK – Black Public Media (BPM), the Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit dedicated solely to projects about the Black experience, has issued an open call for climate stories. A total of $230,000 in production funding for feature-length documentaries and documentary or scripted shorts will be awarded. All projects must currently be in pre-production, production or post-production, and be intended for public media distribution. The application window for the open call is September 1-25.
BPM invites stories on how the climate crisis impacts people of African descent. Eligible projects may focus on how the crisis is being managed, climate education, environmental racism, health impacts, sustainable industries, climate policies and solutions. One $30,000 award will be granted to a stand-alone or limited series short film (documentary or scripted). Five $40,000 awards will be granted for broadcast- or feature-length nonfiction film projects. Recipients of those awards may also get invited to participate in BPM’s PitchBLACK Forum, the nation’s largest pitch competition for independent filmmakers and creative technologists developing new projects about the global Black experience. PitchBLACK participants will compete for up to $150,000 in additional funding. All Black Public Media (BPM) funding awards are licensing agreements for public media distribution.
“As the climate crisis continues to unfold, it is vital for each of us to understand the role we play in shaping the future of our planet and our environment,” said BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz. “Black Public Media is committed to funding works that educate, amplify and activate communities and individuals in the work needed to increase environmental awareness. We look forward to seeing projects that are working toward this goal.”
The open call submissions link will go live on Friday, September 1, at https://blackpublicmedia.org/for-media-makers/open-call/ and close on Monday, September 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Applicants must be the project’s producer or director, a US citizen and have a minimum of three years professional producing and/or directing experience or a senior producer attached to the project. Key creative personnel (producer, director, writer or editor) must include at least one person of color.
An independent panel of media professionals will review applications and select the winners, who will be announced in December.
BPM’s Climate Stories initiative is supported by the New York Community Trust Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
To assist filmmakers with the open call submission process, BPM will hold information sessions on August 16, August 29 and September 21. Applicants are encouraged to attend one of these free events. Details on the information sessions and the open call will be available at https://blackpublicmedia.org. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-234-8200.
BPM has long supported and helped to distribute climate projects, including Black Folk Don’t: Go Green (2012), by Emmy-award-winning director Angela Tucker; Pangaea (2016), by Olivia Peace; Midnight Oil (2023), by Bilal Motley (currently streaming in BPM’s new AfroPoP Digital Shorts) series; and Razing Liberty Square (premiering Jan. 2024), by Katja Esson.
For more information on Black Public Media, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org, or follow it on Twitter (@BLKPublicMedia), Facebook (@BlackPublicMedia) or Instagram (@blackpublicmedia).