Leslie Fields-Cruz
May 24, 2022




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

BPM Launches 'AfroPoP' Rolling Call

Features and shorts about the global Black experience are invited

My co-workers and I are gearing up for the next season of Black Public Media’s award-winning series, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. To celebrate our 15th season, we’re revamping the application for our annual call for completed films. The Rolling Call, which kicks off this week, includes long form documentary projects as well as narrative and nonfiction shorts.  Although we’ve considered short films in the past, we are eager to spotlight filmmakers who have used this form in extraordinary ways to reach niche audiences and present nuanced stories. 

As always, we’re looking for strong, completed films that capture the breadth, scope and diversity of the global Black experience. We’re interested in hearing from nonfiction and narrative filmmakers across the field and those who have an eye out for the new talent at HBCUs and other film programs. Submitted films can be about music, art, human rights, sports, politics, health, or anything in between. They should be accessible to a broad audience and open to generating opportunities for effective outreach and engagement activities to reach audiences beyond the public television broadcast. Primarily, we seek documentaries, but this year we will also consider narrative or nonfiction shorts that run 30 minutes or less. Completed programs must be able to meet PBS technical and editorial standards. Submissions will be accepted year-round.

“We’re really excited about the updated Rolling Call,” says Denise A. Greene, BPM’s director of programs. “The growing demand for content across platforms begs for the industry to welcome a range of Black voices, experiences and storytelling techniques. We're equally excited by our growing digital and broadcast audience for AfroPop, which continues to be a platform that provides a unique space for our filmmakers and their audience.”

The Rolling Call submissions portal is now open, so if you’ve got a project that’s ready to be seen, I invite you to submit.

On a separate note, I want to congratulate the PBS team for pulling off their Annual Meeting despite the formidable challenges. It is never easy to have to change direction midstream, but the pandemic left them little choice. I appreciate their leaders finding a way to convene the community of makers, public television station staff, and community and corporate partners for robust dialogue about the future of our industry. 


If you haven’t already registered, I encourage you to do so, and don’t forget to drop by the NMCA virtual mixer this Wednesday evening (May 25) at 6 p.m., ET. BPM is co-hosting with our colleagues at Latino Public Broadcasting, the Center for Asian American Media, Visionmaker Media, and Pacific Islanders in Communications. Admission is free, but registration is required. Go here to reserve your spot.  

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Acton Family Giving.  For more information about underwriting and contributions, please contact Alisa Norris (Alisa@ blackpublicmedia.org). To donate, click here! In addition, you can donate to BPM through your Amazon purchases by going to smile.amazon.com/ch/31-1335950.

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