NOVEMBER 9, 2021




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

Watch, Share and Vote for 'Elena'

AfroPoP Film is Qualified for the 2022 Academy Awards

Elena — a documentary short directed by Michèle Stephenson that is part of BPM’s AfroPoP Season 13 — has qualified for the 2022 Academy Awards and is currently in the Academy Screening Room.

The film has been a hit on the festival circuit and will be presented this month at the prestigious DOC NYC film festival in New York City as an Official Selection. The in-person screening is scheduled for Fri., Nov. 12 (Cinèpolis Chelsea, 4 p.m.), and the film will be available virtually throughout the festival.

Elena 1 Photo Credit-Alfredo Alcantara_edited

Elena Lorac (rt.) is the founding member and co-coordinator of the Reconoci.do movement, which, since 2011,  has advocated for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent. Photo from the documentary short Elena courtesy of Rada Studio.

Together with our partners at WORLD Channel and Rada Studio, BPM is actively engaging in an awards campaign for Best Documentary Short. We hope our partners, such as you, will  share Elena with your colleagues and friends as we make this run and help raise its profile. A couple of weeks ago, the film was added to the Cinema Eye Honors Short List for Best Documentary Short of the year.

Elena's is truly an amazing story. We hope the film will continue to shed light on her plight and that of other stateless people across the globe. We are planning upcoming events around the film and will share those details with you soon.  Meanwhile, please watch and share the film. 

In other news, BPM’s appearance at Web Summit last week drew international attention, thanks to an article that ran in Lisbon’s local paper, Expresso. The article covered a Summit panel discussion on the role AI and VR can play in democratizing public spaces and immortalizing those who might otherwise be forgotten. BPM’s Lisa Osborne was quoted extensively in the article and filmmaker Tamara Shogaolu, creator of the AR installation in Frontline’s Un(re)solved, offered excerpts of her work as examples. Kudos to Lisa, Tamara and the entire BPM-Black Innovation Alliance delegation for ensuring the voices of Black digital storytellers were represented at the Summit.


Lisa Osborne

Tamara_Headshot 2021

Tamara Shogaolu

Those of you who are early-career writers with ideas for the youth market should be aware that the deadline for the GBH Kids Scriptwriting Fellowship is this Friday (Nov. 11) at 5 p.m. ET. The program is designed for writers whose stories promote STEM learning. Details can be found here

Finally, if you’re planning to attend DOC NYC this month, don’t forget to use the special BPM discount code DEAL_21 for a break on passes. This year’s festival offers virtual and in-person opportunities, so don’t miss your chance to join the festivities.

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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