The Gotham Film & Media Institute (The Gotham) announced today the launch of The Gotham/Variety Audio Honors, presented by Wondery, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to recognizing the boldest voices in the ever-expanding world of audio storytelling. The honorees have been selected in recognition of their innovations in audio storytelling by a committee of distinguished audio industry professionals, chaired by award-winning podcast creator, producer and new host of NPR’s “It’s Been a Minute,” Brittany Luse. The Gotham/Variety Audio Honors are set to take place in person as a luncheon and a staged presentation in New York City on Friday, Oct. 14.
“As an organization dedicated to celebrating and nurturing independent creators, we are proud to recognize these brilliant, innovative, and groundbreaking audio storytellers,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “As audio content reaches a pivotal point of engagement and innovation, it is crucial that we launch new platforms of recognition, such as The Gotham/Variety Audio Honors, to celebrate the most daring creators in our industry.”
The Audio Honors will be hosted by Gotham Executive Director, Jeffrey Sharp, and Variety COO/CMO, Dea Lawrence. Variety Executive Editor, Brent Lang, will moderate a discussion with the honorees. Variety will aso will feature the winners and their profiles as part of its New York Issue, set to publish on Friday, Oct. 21.
The winning shows, creators, and episodes of the inaugural The Gotham/Variety Audio Honors are:
- Bag Ladiez (Cin Pim and Rafaela Uribe) – “Octavia was right…” (Link)
- Marijuanera: A Podcast for Potheads (Mala Muñoz and Diosa Femme) – “Soliloquy for Sad Girls” (Link)
- Misrepresented (Nikki Aggarwal) – “The Myth of the Pink City” (Link)
- Susto (Ayden Castellanos) – “MS-13’s Satanic History” (Link)
- Teenager Therapy (Gael Aitor, Kayla Suarez, and Thomas Pham) – “Self-Deprecating Humor/How To Love Yourself” (Link)
- Girl Tales (Rebecca Cunningham and Georgina Escobar) – “Musings by Georgina Escobar” (Link)
- TransLash (Oliver-Ash Kleine, editor and lead producer) – “Trans Mothers Day” (Link)
- Out There (Sarah Dealy) – “Indoor Kid” (Link)
- Teleway 411 (Casper Cendre) – “Taylor Hearn” (Link)
- The 11th (Sai Sion) – “His Saturn Return” (Link)
“The audio storytelling space is experiencing unprecedented creativity, and I’m thrilled to partner with The Gotham in highlighting some of the freshest, most original voices of this moment,” said Brittany Luse. “Our inaugural honors will recognize the efforts of truly original talents, creators who stand to make an impact in our industry for years to come.”
The Gotham Film & Media Institute, host of the annual Gotham Awards, has been at the forefront of nurturing and celebrating independent creators for over 40 years, providing access to the industry, pathways to wider recognition, and creative- and career-building resources and mentorship. Over the past five years, its community has grown to include audio storytellers, furthering its mission to elevate original voices and influence the industry to be more expansive and inclusive. The Gotham Film & Media Institute has celebrated emerging voices through its annual Podcast Certificate Program, Audio Forum projects at Gotham Week (now in its third year), podcast pitch events as well as year round film and TV labs and programming and The Annual Gotham Awards, now in its 32nd year.
“There are so many talented podcast creators who deserve to be recognized for building on the medium’s rich history and pushing its future forward,” said Lawrence. “In partnership with The Gotham and Wondery, we hope these new honors can celebrate a few of the people behind some of the truly excellent podcasts leading this industry forward.”
“There’s so much opportunity in podcasting right now. We’re seeing more and more emerging creators who are entering the space and bringing in new ideas and perspectives,” said Marshall Lewy, chief content officer at Wondery. “We are thrilled to join Variety in honoring these up-and-coming new voices and look forward to seeing how they shape the future of the industry.”
As well as being featured in Variety’s New York Issue, the event will also be covered online at Variety.com and across Variety’s social media.
Monica has a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Journalism and Communications from Quinnipiac University. Monica has worked as a journalist for over 20 years covering all things entertainment. She has covered everything from San Diego Comic-Con, The SAG Awards, Academy Awards, and more. Monica has been published in Variety, Swagger Magazine, Emmy Magazine, CNN, AP, Hidden Remote, and more. For the past 10 years, she has added PR and marketing to her list of talents as the president of Prime Entertainment Publicity, LLC. Monica is ready for anything and is proudly obsessed with pop culture.