LeVar Burton, ESPN Headline Hot Docs Podcast Fest

By Pat Mullen

The Hot Docs Podcast Festival announced the line-up for its third annual edition of the audio extravaganza. The festival returns after a successful second year with a mix of live conversations from the leading voices in podcasting. The festival offers streams targeted for the general public along with industry conversations and “how to’s” with industry insiders.

The Live Podcast Line-up kicks off on Thursday, November 1st with an all-star roster of Canadian podcasters. Talents from shows such as First Day Back, Nobody Cares (Except for Me), Tai Asks Why, Personal Best, and Red Man Laughing join hosts Matt Galloway and Lindsay Michael in a variety show style events celebrating the all-Canadian podcasting scene from coast to coast.

Other offerings in the live series include a reading by actor LeVar Burton, star of Star Trek: Next Generation, Roots and the children’s show Reading Rainbow. Burton brings his popular reading series to Toronto to perform a live page-turning event with musical accompaniment and a guest appearance by a figure from the local literary scene.

The fest spotlights LGBTQ stories in the giddy podcast Nancy as BFFs Tobin Low and Kathy Tu take the stage for one of their totally intimate conversations. Culture critics Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins tackle the hottest bits of celebrity culture in Thirst Aid Kit, while Hot Docs lands a live recording of ESPN’s sensationally popular 30 for 30, the podcast extension of the series that produced Oscar winner OJ: Made in America. 30 for 30 debuted at #1 on the iTunes charts last year. On the home front, Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson humorously confront the divide between Canada as we perceive it and Canada as it really is in the eye-opening/ear-opening podcast The Secret Life of Canada.

On the industry front, the festival features a notable roster of talents including Annalise Nielsen (The Unconditional Podcast), Vish Khanna (Kreative Kontrol), Tobin Low (Nancy), and the returns of Ryan McMahon (Red Man Laughing) and Jesse Brown (CANADALAND).

The Hot Docs Podcast Festival runs November 1-5. Visit the Hot Docs website for the complete line-up.