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IFP Expands Its Support Programs to Include Audio Storytelling

by Erik Luers on February 23, 2018

February 23, 2018 (New York, NY) –Today, IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) announced its expansion into audio storytelling at the IFP Audio Thought Leader Summit at the Made in NY Media Center. Now in its 40th year, the organization dedicated to supporting  the art and business of storytelling in all forms is expanding to include audio storytelling as one of the key pillars of its artist programs, educational initiatives and member offerings going forward.

In addition, the IFP Audio Story Labs will launch in April 2018 focusing on storytellers working in the audio space who are pushing storytelling forward. The Audio Story Labs will run alongside the eight-week Made in NY Podcast Certificate Program, a job training lab teaching participants how to develop, produce, and market a podcast will be open to public applicants, with the second edition to be held in April and underwritten by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment at no cost to participants. A full-time Podcast Suite, as well as additional podcast/audio workshops and classes are also now available at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP.

“IFP continues to support all forms of storytelling-regardless of platform- by breaking down barriers and creating a more vibrant and inclusive community of creators,”said Joana Vicente, Executive Director.”With the growing interest and expanding possibilities in the audio space, podcasting and audio storytelling was an obvious choice to include in our programming focus.”

IFP Audio Thought Leader Summit

Kicking off IFP’s new, year-round focus on audio storytelling, the IFP Audio Thought Leader Summit is an event is designed to launch discussions among not only industry trailblazers, but also aspiring creators in podcasting and audio-based storytelling.

Throughout the day, presenters and panelists will discuss avenues for collaboration and innovation, industry trends, and identify emerging technology to explore paths forward in shaping the audio landscape. Speakers and panelists to include:

  • Eric Nuzum, Senior Vice President of Original Content Development at Audible
  • Will Hall, Executive Creative Director of RAIN Agency
  • Mark Websetr, CEO at Sayspring
  • John Srydenm Director of Scripted Content at Panoply Media
  • Susse Sonderby, Senior Product Designer at Sayspring
  • Leital Molad, Executive Producer, Podcasts at First Look Media
  • Chris Papaleo, Executive Director of Emerging Technology at Hearst
  • Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer at iHeart Media
  • Sophie Kleber, Executive Creative Director of Global Product and Innovation at Huge

Modeled on the meetings helmed at IFP’s 40 year-old signature co-production market, IFP Week, the day will also host over 120 “speed dating” meetings with its twenty inaugural Podcast Certificate Program graduates and other curated producers to discuss their skills and projects with industry leaders.

The IFP Audio Thought Leadership Summit is held in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the EDC.

About the IFP Audio Story Labs

Building on its existing IFP Lab programs, the IFP Audio Story Lab focuses on storytellers working in the serialized audio space who are focused on pushing storytelling forward.  Inspired by the IFP Film Labs, the invitation-only Labs for 2018 will feature select projects from IFP’s Podcast Pitch Night and work with fellows on developing story, structure and audiences for serialized, audio-based content. In addition, the program Lab Fellows will be paired with Audio Mentors, experienced producers and creators in the field, to provide developmental and strategic feedback. All fellows will also take part in IFP Week 2018, which includes curated meetings with select industry members as well as participation in a pitch session to industry professionals and experienced audio producers. Fellows will also be granted a six-month residency at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, with access to the newly developed Podcast Suite and ongoing programs dedicated to audio storytelling.

IFP has played a vital role in launching the early work of now-established creatives working across multiple platforms including Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Laura Poitras (Citizenfour), Dee Rees (Mudbound), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Roger Ross Williams (Life, Animated), and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). IFP via Filmmaker Magazine-produced “25 New Faces of Independent Film” were early champions of a litany of creative visionaries who have gone on to make their mark in the creative community and popular culture including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) Lena Dunham (Girls), Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), and Casey Neistat.

About the Made in NY Podcast Certificate Program

This eight-week-long, tuition-free program focuses on job placement: teaching up-and-coming podcasters the editorial and technical skills to kick-start a career in podcasting. Coursework provides a comprehensive overview and hands-on experience of all elements of podcast-making, including development, production, post-production, distribution and monetization.

The next cohort of the Made in NY Podcast Certificate Program will be produced in continued partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, with the support of Voxnest and under the mentorship of an outstanding Advisory Board. The Advisory Board consists of Samantha Henig (New York Times); Erik Diehn (Midroll); Jenna Weiss-Berman and Eleanor Kagan (Pineapple Street Media), Jody Avirgan (ESPN), Francesco Baschieri (Spreaker), Brittany Luse, Chris Giliberti, Jorge Just, and Alex Blumberg (Gimlet); June Thomas (Slate); Dean Cappello (WNYC); and Andy Bowers (Panoply). Our special thanks to course instructor Kerry Donahue (Director of Training at PRX and former Director of Radio Programs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism).


The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include IFP Week, IFP Labs, Filmmaker Magazine,  IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a new incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. IFP represents an ever-growing network of 10,000+ storytellers around the world, and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 39-year history, IFP has supported over 12,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000+ filmmakers. More info at