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Festival News

Podcasts Take the Stage at 30th Anniversary Hot Docs Festival

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that its upcoming 30th anniversary edition, April 27 to May 7, will feature a slate of today’s hottest podcasts live on stage in the documentary festival’s firstever non-fiction audio-storytelling program. The Hot Docs Podcast Festival Showcase will offer audiences a taste of the exceptional programming found at the organization’s popular Podcast Festival, an annual celebration of the world's most talented audio storytellers that’s set to return live for its seventh year this fall. Embracing its commitment to sharing true-life stories, Hot Docs is thrilled to introduce this new dimension to its Festival in this milestone year and to engage its famously curious audiences in new ways. The Podcast Festival Showcase at this year’s Hot Docs Festival will present a tightly curated program of live presentations for the podcast-loving public, and industry panels and master classes for audio creators and non-fiction storytellers of all backgrounds and experience levels. The Hot Docs Podcast Festival Showcase is made possible with the support of Lead Sponsor CBC Podcasts.

“Our annual fall Podcast Festival has grown into Canada’s premier festival of its kind and has built a devoted following since its establishment in 2016,” said Will Di Novi, Hot Docs Podcast Festival’s lead programmer. “With the growing crossover between the world of podcasts and other forms of nonfiction storytelling, we’re really excited to integrate this dynamic medium into our film festival, and to celebrate the diversity and creativity of audio-storytelling talent working today.”

Public presentations at the Hot Docs Podcast Festival Showcase will include five live podcast events, performed on stage at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, featuring some of the buzziest Canadian and international shows in the podcast landscape, including WNYC Studios’ Peabody Award-winning Radiolab, the ground-breaking series on science, philosophy and society; and Wondery’s hit series Scamfluencers, in which co-hosts, Canadian culture writers Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi, unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. The complete slate of Hot Docs Podcast Festival Showcase live podcast events will be announced at the Hot Docs Festival 2023 Press Conference on March 28.

On May 3 and 4, the Hot Docs Podcast Festival Showcase will also feature a special series of podcastfocussed sessions during the Hot Docs industry conference, presenting a dynamic line-up of six panels and master classes, plus additional opportunities to network with key decision-makers and industry peers. The series will offer two days of inspiring, career-building programming focused on the new creative and editorial trends shaping the audio industry and non-fiction storytelling as a whole. Sessions will explore subjects such as the crafting of compelling longform narratives; forging intimate, ethical journalist-subject relationships; developing effective international co-productions; and the growing crossover between podcasting and other creative media, including documentary filmmaking.

Featured speakers will include creative luminaries such as the award-winning journalist Nancy Updike, a founding producer of This American Life and host of the acclaimed New York Times/Serial Productions miniseries We Were Three; Jazmin Aguilera, the head of audio for the Los Angeles Times; Shannon Busta Riches, senior manager for operations and audience on the Opinion Audio team at the New York Times; and Arif Noorani, director of CBC Podcasts. Additional speakers and sessions will be announced with the full Hot Docs Industry Conference line-up in March, including more participants from leading studios such as Wondery, Canadaland, The New York Times and more.


Artwork by Cai Sepulis

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