Black Public Media (BPM) has awarded a total of $225,000 in funding to three creative teams who competed at its PitchBLACK Forum, which took place Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday., April 27, 2022. The annual forum, which is the largest pitching competition for black independent filmmakers and creative technologists in the United States, is designed to advance black content and draws a “who’s who” of public television and commercial distributors and funders. Winners were announced the night of Thursday, April 28, 2022, at the PitchBLACK Awards ceremony, which also honored celebrated documentarian Orlando Bagwell with the BPM Trailblazer Award. The three-day event was hosted by CJ Hunt, film director, comedian and former producer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It) served as keynote speaker for the awards ceremony.
Among the winners was Spelman College senior and Milwaukee native Blanca Burch, who is majoring in international studies and was awared The Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, sponsored this year by Gimlet Media. She will use her NCU fellowship to develop AR components for her new, interactive coloring book The ABCs of Who I Can Be, which is meant to show children the multitude of career opportunities available to them. The NCU Emerging Fellowship, founded in 2016, supports creative technologists under age 30.