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April 21, 2022

BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA

WEEKLY DISPATCH

EXTRA

 

 

By Lisa Osborne

International Slate of Black Storytellers Competing at PitchBLACK Forum: Immersive

$75K in awards will be granted

Creative technologists from Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the United States will compete for $75K in funding on Wednesday, April 27, at the 2022 PitchBLACK Forum: Immersive. The Forum’s tech program attracts film festival programmers, museum curators, foundations and other organizations that are scouting filmmakers and artists who specialize in emerging and experimental forms of storytelling. Register to watch the pitches.

Three immersive projects, which were developed independently, share a focus on housing and land ownership issues and their impact on Black, generational wealth and political agency. Those projects are: 40 Acres, which profiles American, Black farmers and land stewards; Cissie Gool House, which introduces us to activists living in the thousand-person occupation of a former hospital in Cape Town; Wa’Omoni Rising, which details the chipping away of communal land rights in Barbuda.

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The other three projects in the lineup aim to engage users with emerging technology in playful ways. Ancestral Archives uses artificial intelligence chatbots to introduce users to the ideas of Black thinkers. Rabiola Open Skies uses projection mapping to create public art that invites users to fly virtual kites on nearby buildings, while Hereborn Park: Cosmic Circle invites users to rollerskate in a virtual theme park devoted to Black joy.

PitchBLACK Forum is the largest funding competition for Black, independent filmmakers and creative technologists in the United States. The Forum’s first day features film projects, while day two showcases creative technology pitches. Unlike most tech pitch competitions, which tend to focus on funding startups or tech products, the participants at PitchBLACK Forum: Immersive are filmmakers and artists, with half of them owning their own creative studios. Four of this year’s competitors are recipients of Black Public Media (BPM) fellowships.

BPM is a 43-year-old nonprofit based in New York City. It supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. BPM is also a founding member of Black Innovation Alliance, a national coalition of more than 60 innovator support organizations that work with small businesses, startup founders and creative technologists.

PitchBLACK Forum will award almost a quarter million dollars in grants after two days of pitches on April 26–27, 2022. The immersive program is curated and produced by Lisa Osborne, director of emerging media at Black Public Media. The immersive pitch day, which begins on the April 27th at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET/7 PM SAST, is free and open to the public. Register here. Winners will be announced on April 28th at the PitchBLACK Awards.

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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