Film Stories 600

The Film Stories Podcast

Publishing Excellence Awards
Best use of Audio

The Film Stories podcast looks simple on the surface: a film podcast that tells the story behind the movies, written, produced, and hosted by just one person. At a point where algorithms are actively working against independents, and star names are generally required to cut through, the challenge was using the podcast to expand Film Stories beyond audio.

Could they do events? Launch a magazine? Grow a website? And all whilst keeping a weekly podcast going?

For a small independent company, it was a huge challenge. However, six years on, millions of episodes have been downloaded, two print magazines have been created off the back of the podcast, and live events attracting major international film makers have been launched. And a feature film off the back of the podcast is currently in post-production.

The podcast continues to perform, generating over 40,000 downloads every months. Over 50 episodes were released in 2023 alone. Talents such as Hugh Jackman (a special episode for number 300!), Nick Park, Kenneth Branagh, and more gave over half an hour each for specific episodes.

The podcast has been the springboard for live events in Birmingham, Salford, London, and more, bringing filmmaking guests together with audiences to celebrate the podcast’s ethos of making filmmaking accessible. A huge live event in December 2023 reunited special guest Kenneth Branagh with the case of one of his films.

Using contacts sourced via the podcast, Film Stories has launched a blu-ray label, with three UK Blu-ray exclusive titles to date. And the print magazine – in hugely challenging market conditions – made it to their fifth birthday. Film Stories relaunched – backed by the podcast promotion – as the UK’s biggest film magazine, at 168 pages. Film Junior remains the only UK film magazine for under 15s, and features content primarily written by them too – and they’re paid for it. While Film Stories is sold around the world, Into Film agreed to put Film Junior magazine into every Into Film club in the UK.

It's the podcast that has fuelled it all, from being the catalyst for the original crowdfunding that bought these projects to life, to attracting filmmaking talent and partners such as StudioCanal, Amazon, the BFI, and Picturehouse. And in the midst of it all, Film Stories became the UK’s number one film history podcast by Apple iTunes listings.

Not bad for one person in a room, talking into a microphone.

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