The Redford Center Partners With Black Public Media For BPM’s 2023 Climate Open Call


The Redford Center has partnered with Black Public Media for BPM’s 2023 open call for climate stories. The center, which was co-founded by actors and activists Robert Redford and James Redford, is one of the only US-based non-profits dedicated to environmental impact filmmaking. Black Public Media will award a total of $230,000 in funding for feature-length documentaries and documentary or scripted shorts. Projects in all stages of production are invited and should be appropriate for public media distribution. The application window is September 1-25.

Stories that examine the impact of climate change on communities of African descent are encouraged. The projects can focus on how the crisis is being managed, environmental racism, health impacts, solutions, climate education, sustainable industries and climate policies. One $30,000 award will be given to a stand-alone or limited-series short film. Five $40,000 awards will be granted for broadcast or feature-length nonfiction film projects. Recipients of those awards might also get to participate in BPM’s PitchBLACK Forum, which is the largest national pitch competition for independent filmmakers and creative technologists making content about the global Black experience. PitchBLACK competitors will face off for an additional $150,000 in funding. All Black Public Media funding awards are licensing agreements for public media distribution. 

Robert Redford and James Redford co-founded The Redford Center in 2005 and they will partner with BPM on the open call and offer advice and resources. 

“We are honored to partner with BPM on this open call, and grateful to BPM for creating this opportunity to center frontline filmmakers and projects focused on increasing knowledge and resonance of the importance of safeguarding our environment,” said The Redford Center Executive Director Jill Tidman. “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.”

The open call submissions link will go live on September 1st at and close on Monday, September 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

All applicants must be the producer or director of the project, be a US citizen, have a minimum of three years of producing and directing experience, or have a senior producer tied to the project. Key members of the creative team must include at least one person of color. 

Black Public Media will have free information sessions on August 29 and September 21. Applicants are encouraged to attend these sessions. Details on the information sessions and the open call will be available at For more information, email: or call 212-234-8200.

BPM’s Climate Stories initiative is supported by the New York Community Trust Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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

BPM has supported climate projects in the past including 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 (currently streaming in BPM’s new AfroPoP Digital Shorts) series; and Razing Liberty Square (broadcast premiere in Jan. 2024), by Katja Esson.

For more information on Black Public Media go to


: The Redford Center Partners With Black Public Media For BPM’s 2023 Climate Open Call