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Hot Docs Announces Festival Lineup

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Hot Docs has announced the full programming lineup for the sixth annual Hot Docs Podcast Festival. Due to COVID-19 the January 25-28 event will be virtual.

“While we had sincerely hoped to be bringing Hot Docs Podcast Festival back to Hot Docs Cinema this year, we are pleased to be able to effectively respond to our changing circumstances, while moving ahead with our full slate of public and industry programming,” says Alan Black, co-managing director of Hot Docs. “Building off the success of last year’s virtual edition, our goal is to offer an unmissable experience for both audiences and industry, placing homegrown creators on the virtual stage alongside international leaders and providing essential resources to the podcasters of the future. Perhaps most importantly, we hope this upcoming edition of the Festival can offer some much needed connection and inspiration.”

Passes and single tickets for public events are available now. Single tickets for headlining events are free for Hot Docs Members, Hot Docs at Home Subscribers, and Festival passholders, and are $9.99 for non-members/passholders. All Creators Forum sessions are accessible with a Podcast Festival pass only. Festival passes are $94 ($84 for Hot Docs Members) and are available at Early Bird pricing (20% off) until January 6 at midnight. Passes also grant extended streaming access to all event recordings until February 28. All events are able to stream worldwide. Tickets are available for purchase at

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Joining previously announced headliners including a CBC Opening Night Storytelling Showcase hosted by The Secret Life of Canada and previewing a new podcast from Anna Maria Tremonti; bestselling Big Short authorMichael Lewis in conversation with Ira Glass; and a sneak peak of award-winning Anishinaabe journalist and writer Ryan McMahon’s new television adaptation of his Canadaland series, Thunder Bay. The Festival is also thrilled to welcome one of the most popular and innovative podcasts in the medium’s history—**NPR’s **Invisibilia—in conversation with Saidu Tejan-Thomas and Bethel Habte of Gimlet’s Resistance (a New York Times Best Podcast of 2021); and a live edition of the irreverent pop culture podcast Back Issue with guest Kelefa Sanneh, a staff writer with The New Yorker. The Festival will close with an unmissable special event: Canadian treasure, comedian, and satirist Samantha Bee will present a virtual live episode of her wildly popular podcast Full Release—featuring a special to-be-announced surprise guest. This highly anticipated event will take place on January 28, at 8:00 p.m. and be streamed live around the world.

The Creators Forum again runs for three days of the Festival, with its most robust slate to date of hands-on skills building workshops, “Meet the Decision Maker” events with leading content executives and Masterclasses with creative luminaries. Some highlights of the industry programming this year include a career building session with Media Girlfriends, Garvia Bailey, Nan aba Duncan, and Hannah Sung; a talk on crossing over into podcasting from other mediums with influential music video directors Director X and Taj Critchlow; a case study in investigative podcasting with Gimlet Media’s Managing Director Lydia Polgreen and acclaimed host Connie Walker (Stolen, Finding Cleo); meet the decision-maker talks with CBC Podcasts and Amazon Music; and masterclasses with Canadaland, 9/12 and Running from the Cops creator Dan TaberskiFor Colored Nerds’ Eric Eddings andBrittany Luse, and This American Life’s Alix Spiegel. On day three, Hot Docs turns over the Creators Forum to Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast company supporting shows of all sizes. Events include an Indigenous creators panel sharing perspectives on the role of activism in audio, and a deep dive into fandom in the podcast-sphere with Ira Madison III from Crooked Media’s Keep It!, Hannah Sung, and CBC Pop Chat’s Amil Niazi.

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