Leslie Fields-Cruz
APRIL 19, 2022




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

BPM Presents: Orlando Bagwell Film Retrospective

Online April 25-May 1

I am pleased to announce that in coordination with our PitchBLACK Forum and Awards program next week, Black Public Media has arranged for a week-long film retrospective in celebration of our 2022 Trailblazer Orlando Bagwell. The exclusive online event offers a limited series of special, online screenings beginning on Monday, April 25 and ending on Sunday, May 1

On Thursday, April 28, BPM will officially present Orlando with the Trailblazer Award during our PitchBLACK Awards ceremony. The presentation will include remarks from those whose lives and filmmaking careers have benefited from his work, his teaching and his gracious mentorship.

Orlando Bagwell, who as director of a films program at the Ford Foundation led to, among other things, the resurgence of the Sundance documentary program. He's stepping down to make films himself. Photo by Robert Caplin                                 NYTCREDIT: Robert Caplin for The New York Times

Orlando Bagwell

The PitchBLACK Orland Bagwell Film Retrospective is a rare opportunity, since much of Orlando’s portfolio is not currently available for public screening. Together with our partners at WORLD Channel, we’ve made special arrangements for free, limited-access screenings to all who attend the PitchBLACK programs. The Bagwell Retrospective screening schedule is as follows:


From PBS' "The Terrible Transformation," Africans in America

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 8-10 p.m., ET*

 Africans in America: The Terrible Transformation (1998) This film is the first episode in the 4-part PBS series Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. It covers the years 1450-1750, which brought enormous changes to the North American and  African continents.

 TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 8-10 p.m., ET*

 Malcolm X: Make It Plain (1994) A chronicle of Malcolm X's remarkable journey from his birth on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Neb., to his assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21, 1965.


 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 8-10 p.m., ET*

Citizen King (2004)  Explores the last five years in the life of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Personal recollections and eyewitness accounts of friends, movement associates, journalists, law enforcement officers, and historians illuminate this little-known chapter in the story of 20th century America’s most influential moral leader.

 *Note: these limited-access screenings are available ONLY to those who register to attend one or more of the 2022 PitchBLACK events. A restricted-access code will be emailed to registrants the day of the screenings.


The following Bagwell films, from the groundbreaking Blackside/PBS series Eyes on the Prize (1987), will be available for public streaming on WORLD Channel anytime within the seven-day window:

Ep. 3 - Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-1961) This film explores how Black college students took a leadership role in the civil rights movement as lunch counter sit-ins spread across the South. It also documents the "Freedom Riders'" efforts to desegregate interstate buses.

Aint Scared of Your Jails_Eyes on the Prize_s0EQo38-asset-mezzanine-16x9-saPRM61

From Eyes On the Prize Episode 3

Mississippi_Eyes on the Prize

From Eyes On the Prize Episode 5

Ep. 5 - Mississippi: Is This America? (1963-1964) Mississippi's grassroots civil rights movement becomes an American concern when college students travel south to help register Black voters and three activists are murdered. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenges the regular Mississippi delegation at the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City.

**Streaming links to the "Eyes on the Prize" episodes included in the Bagwell Retrospective will be posted on BPM's website from Monday, April 25-Sunday May 1.  

I hope all of you will take advantage of this unique opportunity. On behalf of the BPM board and staff, I send heartfelt thanks to Orlando, the Bagwell family, and to our partners at PBS, ITVS and WORLD for making the retrospective possible. For more information and registration details regarding PitchBLACK 2022 and the Bagwell Retrospective, visit the BPM website.

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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