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Redford Center and Black Public Media Partner for Climate Stories Open Call

By IDA Editorial Staff

Logos of BPM and The Redford Center over a gray background.

Black Public Media announced a new partnership with The Redford Center for its upcoming 2023 open call for production funding. BPM will award a total of $230,000 in funding for feature-length documentaries and documentary or scripted shorts in all stages of production. 

This year, the fund is focused on stories of how the climate crisis impacts people of African descent. According to the press release, “eligible projects may focus on how the crisis is being managed, climate education, environmental racism, health impacts, sustainable industries, climate policies, and solutions. We also encourage projects that reframe our experience with climate change, find new ways into the issue, or imagine a future worth changing for.” The application period will open on September 1 and close on September 25, 2023.

Filmmakers should keep in mind that all Black Public Media (BPM) funding awards are licensing agreements for public media distribution.

In a statement to Documentary, the organizations described the specifics of their partnership in the open call as follows: “The Redford Center is working directly with BPM's programming team to identify the types of stories that best fit under the climate banner, to set evaluation guidelines, and to assist in selecting the projects that will be funded.” As expressed by The Redford Center Executive Director Jill Tidman in a prepared statement, “As more and more people experience the effects of climate change, it is vital that we hear from and learn from communities who are often disproportionately impacted by it. I cannot wait to see what stories come through this effort.”

“We look forward to working with and learning from The Redford Center in this new partnership as we continue toward our goal to improve understanding the urgency of now on climate change,” said BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz.

An independent panel of media professionals will review applications and select the winners, who will be announced in December.

BPM's Climate Stories initiative is supported by the New York Community Trust Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Prior climate projects supported and distributed by BPM include Black Folk Don’t: Go Green (2012)by Emmy-award-winning director Angela Tucker; Pangaea (2016), by Olivia Peace; Midnight Oil (2023)by Bilal Motley; and Razing Liberty Square (broadcast premiere in Jan. 2024), by Katja Esson.