Podcast love. Recent finds: factual storytelling

To whoever invented podcasts: thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like we are all a little bit afraid of being alone-alone, especially with the technology-saturated lifestyle we have.
Podcasts are a great companion and a source of information, education, and, of course, entertainment. But does their role go beyond that? When you’re an introvert, a 30-minute podcast episode about a historical figure could be the best companion on your walk to work or school. When you’re socially anxious, a discussion about your favorite tv show could be the only thing that can make that bus ride home easier.

I strongly believe podcasts can be a source of inspiration or a push to your creative thoughts. Where are you going? episode from BBC’s The Documentary podcast brought so many questions to my mind, and taught me that sometimes one question and patience is all it takes to make people open up and spill their heart out. Everybody wants to share their story.
Today, I want to share with you a few podcast shows dealing with documentary filmmaking in one way or another, that I discovered during the last few months. If you are a cinephile, documentary filmmaker or film student, I think you will find something for your taste in this list.

Slums of film history

If there is a film subject too taboo we haven’t found it yet.

To spice things up, discover cinema history through niche themes such as kids that kill, bodily fluids, head trauma or cannibalism. The hosts take turns talking about films that feature these weird subjects and it’s usually entertaining, but most of the times gross too.

Pure nonfiction: inside documentary film

Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen

Featuring interviews with top documentary filmmakers, this podcast is great if you want to know what happens behind the scenes of award-winning films, and about the struggles and sacrifices that have to be embraced in the film making process. The host, Thom Powers, is curator for the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC and SundanceNow Doc Club.

 The Documentary (BBC World Service)

The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programmes.

Well, the quote pretty much sums up what this podcast is about. I strongly encourage you to give this one a try. The episodes I listened to were insightful, eye-opening and thought-provoking. A great recipe to boost your creative mind.

Bonus: Beautiful stories from anonymous people

1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred.

I have to include a podcast that is not directly related to filmmaking, but is a remarkable lesson in inter-personal interactions. I don’t want to give away too much, you will have to listen and take whatever you want from it, but keep in mind that making documentaries means telling someone’s story to the world.


I hope you enjoyed this list. Let me know if you listen to other inspiring podcasts, either film related or not.

Personally, I always look for specific types of podcast shows: podcasts that can make me laugh, ones that can teach me something (either historic or scientific), or ones that inspire and motivate me (usually filmmaking related). As a filmmaker-to-be who also has to manage her own projects (a lot of paper work and filling in applications), I sometimes find myself stuck in my own head, incapable to bring new ideas to the table or new perspectives, new strategies to my projects. A good, inspiring episode, not necessarily filmmaking-related, is all I need to get me going.

One thought on “Podcast love. Recent finds: factual storytelling

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