Pitch Practice

February 27,  2024



By Qiona Woffard

Over President’s weekend, 11 teams of media makers descended upon the Edith Macy Center in Chappaqua, N.Y., for Black Public Media’s PitchBLACK Bootcamp. The weekend was filled with warmth, laughter and hard work as the artists supported each other in polishing their pitches.

bpm executive director leslie fields speaks in front of stone fireplace while fellows look on
2024 PitchBLACK Bootcamp Cohort (photo credit: BPM staff)

This is my second time spearheading the in-person bootcamp for BPM. While the majority of the attendees are from the U.S., some of this year’s participants came from as far away as London and Tanzania. It was amazing to get this dynamic  group of prolific makers together to share their stories and focus on preparing for PitchBLACK Forum. I feel so proud to collaborate with my colleagues and to design a program that offers storytellers a safe space to learn, be vulnerable, make connections, feel valued, and emerge more confident about pitching to potential funders.

a black woman speaking into microphone positioned between between to black men
Bootcamp presentation (photo credit: BPM staff)

In addition to pitch practice, the filmmakers and immersive makers participated in sessions designed to give them the tools they need to make effective and engaging pitches. This year’s sessions included Pitch Mechanics with Kisha Imani Cameron, Identity and the Personal Narrative with k. Neycha Herford, and a conversation with Michèle Stephenson on Sustainability for Independent Filmmakers. BPM Creative Consultant Sandy Rattley, Program Coordinator Carol Bash, and Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz provided guidance for the five film teams while BPM Emerging Media Director Lisa Osborne, Immersive Producer Aja Evans, and this year’s PitchBLACK Forum emcee, Tameka Kee, offered feedback to the six immersive teams. 

Join Us at PitchBLACK

four bootcamp participants, three women one man, talk while seated in a circle
Makers conversing during Bootcamp (photo credit: BPM staff)

The Bootcamp attendees will deliver their pitches during the PitchBLACK Forum on Wed., April 24, at The Greene Space in Manhattan. The filmmakers will compete for $150,000 in production funding, and immersive makers will compete for up to $50,000. The winners will be announced at the PitchBLACK Awards on Thurs., April 25. Follow this Weekly Dispatch and BPM’s social media platforms for further details and in-person ticket information. Both hybrid events will be live streamed. 

Finally, we invite you to join us this Friday for another Filmmaker Friday discussion. This week’s program features Sandy Rattley and Charlotte Mangin discussing their new short, Searching for Augusta Savage. You can watch the conversation on BPM’s social media channels ( YT, FB or IG) at 3 p.m., ET, March 1.


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BPM is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We welcome foundations, corporations and individuals to help with our work. For more information about underwriting and contributions, contact Delynda Lindsey (delynda@blackpublicmedia.org).
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