Sound documentaries are booming


Telling real stories in imaginative and immersive ways is at radio’s core. Sound documentaries offer a wealth of creative possibility for producers to combine many popular radio formulas – such as interviews, fiction and literature – in order to explore a topic in depth. And with the rise of podcasts and new technologies, documentary making has never been more exciting.

Three leading documentary makers played clips from their recent documentaries and shone a light on how these projects were made. Vanessa Rodrigues (Freelance, Portugal) won an Honor Mention at the Human Rights Journalism Prize by UNESCO – Portugal for her audio documentary “Palestine, Diaries of an Uncertain Place” about Palestinian Refugees in Gaza camp. Laura Romero (Audio Producer and Professor, Spain) develops her own independent documentaries and works for the daily music radio show Territori Sonor on the Valencian public radio corporation, À Punt Media. Rosa Fernandez (Producer, P3 Documentary, SR, Sweden) produces P3 Documentary, a strand of Swedish Radio’s youth station P3, whose podcasts are the most downloaded in Sweden.

The three discussed the creative techniques they used in their documentaries and the opportunity for audio to activate memories in a listener’s mind. Sounds effects, shots and filters are some of the ways that audio documentaries can create mental images which transport the audience to a different dimension.

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