Friday, May 14, 2010

The Good Pitch @ Tribeca Features Documentary Projects Highlighting the African and African-American Experience

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

The Good Pitch @ Tribeca was held recently during the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on Tuesday, April 27th in New York City. A unique and dynamic pitching forum born out of the conviction that a documentary is a powerful tool for creating social change, The Good Pitch presented eight of the most inspiring social justice documentary projects in production to an audience of foundations, philanthropists, and grantmaker associations who have an interest in the issue area. This year was even more exciting, as six of the eight projects selected told stories of the African and African-American experience.

One of those films, An American Promise, tells the story of Idris and Seun, two African-American boys from Brooklyn and their 12 year educational journey beginning at an elite Manhattan prep school. Set amidst the backdrop of the racial achievement gap where over half of African-American males do not graduate from high school, An American Promise weaves interviews with urban sociologists and experts on child development into a rare longitudinal examination of class, race and gender in the classroom.

Described as an “epic piece” and an “academic Hoop Dreams,” the film is being partially funded by the Ford Foundation, The National Black Programming Consortium and The New York State Council on the Arts. Director/producers and parents Michéle Stephenson and Joe Brewster expressed that An American Promise is a film “for us by us” that illustrates how parents must advocate for their children as they try to provide the best possible education for them. Experienced filmmakers, Brewster and Stephenson are looking to raise the remaining funds for production and foster community engagement efforts through partnerships with funders and grassroots stakeholders committed to closing the racial achievement gap. You can learn more about their projects by visiting

For more information about all of the films featured at The Good Pitch @ Tribeca 2010, visit:

BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay highlights the many charitable events in NY! Contact Akira at akira [at] blackgivesback [dot] com and follow her on Twitter at for more happenings!

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