JULY 20, 2021




By Leslie Fields-Cruz


Artwork from Grab My Hand, a short film by Camrus Johnson, which is competing in this year's PBS Short Film Festival.

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Be a Winner

For a decade, the PBS Short Film Festival has given public media audiences a delightful mid-summer opportunity to watch and celebrate short films made by BIPOC and other underrepresented filmmakers. This decennial year, two of the films BPM nominated were selected to compete: Grab My Hand, by Camrus Johnson; and Highway Mike, by Sriyanka Ray. If you haven’t seen them yet, I HIGHLY recommend that you do and hope you’ll encourage your friends to do the same. The runtime for both is under 10 mins, so they should fit easily into anyone’s busy summer schedule. 


Photo from Highway Mike, by Sriyanka Ray

The festival will announce the winner of its Jury Prize on Mon., July 26.  We’re rooting for both our films, but the truth is, just making it into the festival is a significant accomplishment. Congratulations to Camrus, Sriyanka and their respective teams on that achievement.  

In other news, we want to congratulate those who applied for the NYC Artist Corps grants last month. Cycle 1 grantees were notified of their awards on July 2. Those who applied in Cycle 2 will receive notice by Aug. 2. The deadline for applying in Cycle 3 is Aug. 10. If you are a NYC maker who could use a $5K grant, I strongly encourage you to apply. So far, very few people from our community have applied. In an effort to generate excitement about the opportunity, we’ve partnered with Firelight Media, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) to offer two webinars about the program and how to apply. You can view those here: Webinar 1, Webinar 2. Note that this grant program is for NYC makers only.

Finally, please note that the application portal for BPM’s 2021-22 Open Call opens on Sun., Aug. 1, and will remain open until the deadline on Oct. 1. For details about what we’re looking for and how to submit, visit our website.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer. 

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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