NBPC Launches TV/WEB Series Incubator In Harlem

April 16, 2015
black fiming makersBy Hadasah IngridAn exciting new initiative is launching this month designed to identify innovative storytellers anticipated to break ground in development for TV and web-series pilots.This inaugural venture is the brainchild of Leslie Fields-Cruz, the new Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). Her vision for this pet project is to generate quality serial content that’s digital and multi-platformed for television and the web.

The Harlem-based media arts nonprofit selected eight producing teams for the new incubator program called NBPC 360. Each team will compete during a six-week intensive boot camp leading up to Pitch Black, a large interactive pitch session to industry leaders in April. In addition, the selected storytellers will work with veteran producers to win their bid for development funds between $50,000 -$150,000 for their series pilots.

Fields-Cruz unveils the positive outlook this program is set spawn particularly with Harlem as its backdrop, “The overwhelming response to NBPC 360 demonstrates two things: first, that there’s truly no shortage of topics and stories centering on the Black experience, and second, there’s a funding gap in the early development of such projects, a gap that NBPC 360 can fill.”

Moving forward on that revelation, NBPC introduces the eight selected producing teams.

Black Broadway on U: A Transmedia Project by Shellee Haynesworth, a web series

Before there was the Harlem Renaissance, there was the D.C. Renaissance, taking place along Washington, DC’s U Street/Shaw community corridor—eventually known as the “Black Broadway” era. From the early 1900 to late 1950s, this culturally vibrant Black Washington corridor was America’s “Black Mecca,” where Black-owned businesses and a highly educated middle class thrived in a “city within a city.”

CHRONICLE: The Other Walter White (Season One) by Shukree Tilghman, a web series

In the summer of 1919, the bloodiest massacre in American racial history, a field worker of the NAACP infiltrated the darkest corners of the American South to investigate the murders of hundreds of innocent African-Americans. The Other Walter White is the story of the man who undertook this mission, at great risk to himself, by passing as a white man in order to seek justice, and whose success marked the beginning of the end of Jim Crow.

The Life’s Essentials Docu-Series by Muta’Ali Muhammad, a TV series

The Life’s Essentials Docu-Series features intimate one-on-one interviews where celebrities and everyday Americans engage in powerful, heart-felt conversations with family members in a question and answer format. Designed to showcase the emotional journey of the process as well as lessons learned, the series entertains and inspires audiences to engage in their own intergenerational family conversations.

My Africa Is by Nosarieme Garrick, a TV series

My Africa Is a documentary series tapping into the dynamic and diverse stories of African youth culture, offering a balanced view of Africa.

The Newark Project: Safe Passage by Ouida Washington, a TV series

The Newark Project: Safe Passage (Part 1) tells the story of six young people growing up in one of America’s toughest cities: Newark, NJ. As the city struggles with one of the most controversial education reform endeavors in its history, the future of its children is at stake, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Pixie Dust by Damon Colquhoun, a Web series

Pixie Dust follows a teenage girl whose mentally ill mother stops taking her medication. It’s a real-life issue that becomes injected with the fantastical, when the girl discovers a family secret that gives her both the power to see the psychological beast that lies beneath her mother’s skin and to quell that beast.

POPS by Garland McLaurin, a Web series

From TV pundits to the President of the United States, African-American men are consistently excoriated for failing to be active in their children’s lives. POPS is a humorous, enlightening and engaging exploration of fatherhood as experienced by three African-American men facing the toughest challenge of their lives—becoming good fathers.

Street Cred by Sultan Sharrief, a TV series

Everyone has seen the crazy headlines about Detroit, but rarely do we see the potential and power of our youth. Street Cred challenges Detroit High School students to learn entertainment producing skills and compete for a chance at a dream internship. Each episode the students get a different challenge: pitching, marketing, budgeting, etc. The youth must prove their potential not only to the industry judges, but also to themselves.

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is committed to developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the Black experience strengthening the impact and presence of the diverse voices throughout the world.

For more information on NBPC or NBPC 360, visit www.blackpublicmedia.orgor follow the organization on Twitter (@BLKPublicMedia).


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