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DFI-IFP Podcast Lab 2020

Start date:
Oct 20, 2020
Ability Level:
Beginner to Intermediate

Lab Overview & Structure

Working in partnership with the IFP—the oldest and largest non-profit in the United States dedicated to storytelling in all its forms—this programme will provide participants with the knowledge, resources, and mentor support for developing their project both creatively, through story development and sound editing workshops, and strategically, with discussions on industry landscape, pitching, marketing, and releasing their audio project in today’s audio landscape.

In this course, participants will learn the basics of audio storytelling and the art of creating and producing distinctive audio podcasts. Participants will leave with an enhanced understanding of the global podcasting landscape and its key players. Students will also receive tips on tools, funding models, audience development, distribution, and gain insights on how they can measure their success.

Dates: 20 – 27 October 2020
Hours: Daily session of 4 hours (3 to 7 PM Doha time)
Language: English
Lab Fee: 1,100 QAR
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Group Size: 6 – 8 projects will be selected with a maximum of two attendees per project
Deadline: 10 October

Lab Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • About the main global players in the podcast industry
    • Platforms like Apple, YouTube, Spotify, etc.
      • Their strengths and weaknesses for creators (especially metrics)
      • Their significance and role in the industry
    • Podcast networks like NPR, Wondery, iHeartMedia, etc.
    • Select podcasts
  • To define their audience and podcast with a purpose
  • To write scripts, map narrative arcs, and generate immersive stories for audio
  • Planning, team roles, and workflow mapping
  • How to choose (and use) the right equipment for their podcast
  • To record interviews and edit them
    • Interview prep
    • How to get great tape in your interview
    • The ethics of editing quotes
  • How to use music in their podcasts
    • Legal limitations
    • Commissioning new music
  • Business models
  • Options for distributing their podcast
  • How to pitch their podcast to the industry.

No previous podcasting or audio editing experience is required, and participants should arrive with some ideas about the type of podcast they would like to make.

The Lab is open to serialized and story-driven audio project. Fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid style projects are eligible, and projects can be either short-form or long-form series.


The workshop is designed for audio storytellers and producers or anyone interested in entering the Podcast Industry. Participants must be from Qatar or the MENA region. A total of six to eight participants will be selected for the workshop.

No previous podcasting or audio editing experience is required, but participants should arrive with strong ideas about the type of podcast they would like to make.

The Lab is open to serialized and story-driven audio projects. Fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid style projects are eligible, and projects can be either short-form or long-form series.

Who Can Apply?

  • Participants in later stages of development must have a pilot script, show trailer, or sample audio. Participants in early stages of development should have a comparable proof of concept detailing their ideas.
  • Participants must have a project presentation with essential information about their intended show, including potential hosts, guests, and topics. Serial narrative projects should detail their full narrative arc and all relevant backstory.
  • Long-format, short-format, limited series, in fiction and non-fiction are eligible.

Submission Requirements
Project information should be extensive enough to give reviewers the fullest idea possible of your audio project.

  1. Project dossier, including:
    • Synopsis
    • Creator’s note detailing intentions and goals
    • Visual concept or pitch deck, if applicable
    • Script and treatment, if applicable
    • Any preliminary topical research and a list of interviews, voice actors, or sources you have contacted or might approach to participate
    • Biography of the creative team and key crew members
    • Production company information
    • Supplementary materials as desired (audio trailer, etc.)
  2. A letter outlining your motivation to participate in the lab, describing the project’s current stage and its needs—and sample questions you would like to discuss in the workshop.
  3. Link(s) to producer’s previous work
  4. Copy of passport or government-issued ID.

Please submit your materials before 10 October in Word or PDF format to including your full name, project title, email and phone contact in all text documents.

Course Overview

Day One: Foundations
1. Introductions
2. Introduction to the Podcasting Landscape & Lingo

Day Two: North Star
3. Defining Your Audience

Day Three: Storytelling
4. Audio Storytelling
5. Mapping a Narrative Arc

Day Four: Production
6. Equipment, Interview & Recording
7. Software & Editing

Day Five: Making it Work
8. Workflow Mapping
9. Viability
○ (Money, Audience Development, and Measuring Success)

Day Six: Talking About Your Project
10. Facing the Industry
11. Pitch Prep

Day Seven: Putting it All Together
12. Pitching
○ (Creative Review)

IFP Team

Lab Programme Producer

Alexandra Blair is the lead for all things audio at IFP. You can find her scouting tomorrow’s biggest audio projects for IFP’s Project Forum, programming talent-driven conversations on the future of storytelling for IFP Week, and consulting with media makers about how to take their audio projects to the next level.

She has previously served as the Project Manager for PRX’s podcasting initiatives for journalists where she delivered hands-on audio training and podcast-generating mentorship to more than 300 audio creators across North America. She has created and delivered bespoke curriculum for organizations like AAJA, INN, NABJ, NAHJ, and more. She also helps bring fresh modes of thought into the media space and the classroom with the department of Journalism + Design at The New School where she manages outreach and community building among journalism educators and leads design development of the program’s systems thinking resources for inclusive reporting practices and newsroom ethics.

A first-generation college graduate, she received her BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2019 with a focus on journalistic practices and memory in art and design. Her work lives at the intersection of transformative problem solving, radical agility, and media. Her goal: to empower all creators to nimbly address 21st century demands with confidence and empathy.


  • Keep it in the AM with Friends – Ali Al-Hajri, Joy Atrach and Abdulla Alsulaiti (Qatar/USA)
  • Rethinking Refugees – Dina Pasic (Qatar)
  • A Legacy in its Made – World Cup Qatar 2022 – Juan Antonio Cepeda Gutierrez (Mexico)
  • City of Stories – Lulwa bint Abdulla Al-Misned (Qatar)
  • Ballads of Others – Salman Ahad Khan and Omama Othman (Pakistan/Egypt)
  • Dardasha/دردشة – Salwa Sadek (Austrailia)

IFP Independent Filmmaker Project

Founded in 1979, The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the largest and longest-running not-for-profit dedicated to independent film.

IFP continues to champion the future of storytelling by connecting artists across various media disciplines with essential resources at all stages of their career and projects’ development. IFP fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent creative community, represents a growing network of storytellers around the world, and plays a key role in developing 350 fiction and nonfiction works each year. During its 40-year history, IFP has supported over 10,000 projects and offered resources to more than 30,000 filmmakers, including Barry Jenkins, Dee Rees, Laura Poitras, Richard Linklater and Ava Duvernay.

IFP offers support to creators in varying stages of their project: funding, development, pre-production, production, and distribution. They host narrative and documentary labs, IFP week’s Project Forum conference, as well as fiscal sponsorship initiatives. Year-round public programming also offers creative insight as well as technological and business guidance, which includes Filmmaker Magazine, IFP Week, The Gotham Independent Film Awards, and the Independent Filmmaker Labs. IFP’s latest initiative, the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, is an incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries, and platforms can create, collaborate, and connect. Combined with the Media Center’s programming—which also includes seminars, conferences, and mentorships—IFP creates exciting and inclusive opportunities for new and established voices from a diverse range of racial, ethnic, and religious perspectives.

Founded in 1979, IFP is the largest and oldest not-for-profit dedicated to independent film. More info at