July 6, 2021




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

Mission Possible: Support Independent Filmmakers this Summer

One of the programs I look forward to each summer is the PBS Short Film Festival. Now in its 10th year, the festival is a great way to discover new independent BIPOC filmmakers, to view new stories from around the country and to engage with public media audiences. This year, BPM is pleased to have two films in the competition: Highway Mike, by Shriyanka Ray and Grab My Hand: A Letter to My Dad, by Camrus Johnson.

PBS Short Film Festival 2021

The festival kicks off July 12 with a special program offered on Zoom that will include previews of the festival's 25 films and conversation with past festival winners. Details about how to register for the kick off event are included in our newsletter article about the festival. We hope you'll participate and help our films make it into the winner's circle.


MIT/BPM Fellow Carla LynDale Bishop with a student working on her "Mapping Blackness" project.

Red Summers: Domestic Terrorism 1917-1921

BPM grantee Bayaté Ross Smith's Red Summers VR project debuted at the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial this spring.

It's been a rough year for many independent media makers. This month, BPM is kicking off a new funding campaign to support our BPMplus program. If you attended our BPM Showcase during PitchBLACK, or you've had a chance to listen to our weekly Technically Brilliant talk show, then you know this is a critical time for brilliant Black makers who are trying to break through in the emerging media landscape. Your support of BPMplus enables us to provide these storytellers with the resources, training and networking they need to continue growing their body of work and telling our stories in exciting new ways. Check out the article in our newsletter's "Development" section to learn how you can contribute.

This month's BPM newsletter is packed with stories you'll want to read. If you're a subscriber, you'll find it in your email. If not, click below and subscribe today.

Have a great summer and make sure you support public media and independent filmmakers as you move about in the warm weather.


Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. Support for Afropop: the Ultimate Cultural Exchange and the 360 Incubator+ Fund comes from the National Endowment for the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We are seeking foundations, corporations and individuals to help our work. 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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