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BY WATER Announced as Winner of the BlackStar Pitch; WORLD Channel Awards Co-Production Deal to Iyabo Kwayana

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Inspired by a voicemail left by her brother, BY WATER is an exploration of family, memory, reconciliation and healing.

BY WATER Announced as Winner of the BlackStar Pitch; WORLD Channel Awards Co-Production Deal to Iyabo Kwayana

WORLD Channel, the award-winning multimedia platform and content producer, has partnered with BlackStar Film Festival, for the second annual BlackStar Pitch. Taking place during the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival, the BlackStar Pitch - which focused on documentary short projects - helped kick off this year's festivities on August 19 as eight filmmakers of color had the opportunity to pitch their work-in-progress documentary projects to an online virtual panel of industry experts. By Water, from filmmaker Iyabo Kwayana, was announced as the winner of the BlackStar Pitch and a $25,000 co-production deal from WORLD Channel during an awards ceremony on August 26, the closing day of the annual festival celebrating the film and storytelling tradition of Black, Brown and Indigenous people across the world.

Inspired by a voicemail left by her brother, By Water is an exploration of family, memory, reconciliation and healing. Combining animation, family archives and documentary-style footage, the film examines an unlikely hero who "hears spirits" and one family's quest to share his burden.

The co-production deal with WORLD Channel will provide Kwayana with support to complete the short-documentary project as well as a national platform for showcasing the film once wrapped.

"At WORLD Channel, we look to offer new perspectives, bringing the work of independent and emerging filmmakers to national audiences," said Chris Hastings, executive producer and editorial manager for WORLD Channel at WGBH in Boston. "Teaming with BlackStar Pitch allows us to not only continue to identify new voices in the film community but to help amplify the work of these storytellers."

Dedicated to bringing diverse subjects and stories to public media audiences, WORLD Channel is helping to change the media landscape through series such as America ReFramed, dedicated to documentary film detailing the ever-evolving American tapestry; Doc World, international documentaries for American audiences; and Stories from the Stage, bringing professional and amateur storytellers from around the world to share their stories. WORLD Channel also offers exclusive content online via Youtube and other platforms, such as Stanley Nelson's Two Dollars and a Dream; The History of White People in America; and Pulling the Thread.

The BlackStar Pitch judges deciding on the finalist included Hastings, Chloe Walters-Wallace of Firelight Media, Opal Bennett from POV Shorts, JustFilms/Ford Foundation's Chi-hui Yang, Chloe Gbai from If/Then and CNN's Alex Hannibal.

For more information on the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival and BlackStar Pitch, visit www.blackstarfest.org/. To learn more about WORLD Channel and its programming and initiatives, follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @worldchannel, subscribe to their Youtube channel or visit www.worldchannel.org.


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