Thank you for your pitches. Our call for submissions is now closed.

POV is partnering with the online video journalism studio Storyhunter to commission a series of short web documentaries about the achievements and challenges of young black males in the United States.

Black boys in America are in crisis right now – particularly academically. Inside and outside of the classroom, mixed messages and negative perceptions not only shape how African American boys see themselves – but also shape their academic performance and how parents, teachers and others see their potential.

In POV’s upcoming American Promise, we follow two boys from kindergarten to high-school graduation, and are presented with complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. American Promise examines how each of us – as parents, teachers and members of a larger community – play a role in shaping the identities of our nation’s black boys.

Based on your pitches, POV and Storyhunter will be greenlighting 4-to-10-minute documentaries that will premiere on POV’s website and video apps, and stream on the sites of Storyhunter’s international partners. (The stories will likely get translated into several languages as well.)

More details are below. Act quickly!

How to pitch your idea: First, sign up to become a Storyhunter at There you should upload your resume and clips, and mention that you are applying through POV to accelerate the approval process. Then, you’ll be able enter your pitch under the American Promise assignment.

Deadline: Complete your pitch by December 20, 2013.

Premiere date: American Promise has its national broadcast premiere on February 3, 2014, and the web series will premiere shortly before that date.

What kinds of stories to pitch: We are looking for profiles on inspiring people, vérité documentaries or news features on issues related to the black-male achievement gap. Potential topics could include academic achievement, adolescence, assimilation, concepts of manhood, diversity, education, educational equity, gender identity, identity development, implicit bias, internalized racism, learning differerences, multicultural education, parenting of boys, parental engagement, psychology, racial disparity, racial identity, racism, raising boys, socioeconomic class and stereotype threat.

Looking for inspiration? Watch the trailers for American Promise and the recent POV documentary Brooklyn Castle below.

More questions? Email us at

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Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.