Sounds of New York, a program designed to support the development of French podcasts with high international potential, will welcome seven French podcasters in April 2024 to immerse themselves in the heart of the American podcasting industry.
Developed by Villa Albertine and Albertine Foundation, this program is supported by Spotify, Radio France, Radio France Internationale (RFI), the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD), the Institut français (Paris), the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA), Ausha, and Paradiso Media.
From April 8 to 12, 2024, participants will attend a series of masterclasses in New York, developed in association with Paradiso Media’s American subsidiary, on subjects as varied as adaptations, writing audio fiction series, and marketing. Studio visits and meetings with key players in the New York podcasting industry are also planned.
Participants were selected by a jury, including Claire Hazan (Spotify), Camille Renard (Radio France), Steven Jambot (RFI), Emmanuelle Suarez (SACD), Marie-Charlotte Baoudour (Institut français), Antoine Bayet (INA), Jennifer Han (Ausha), and Lorenzo Benedetti (Paradiso Media).
The seven selected laureates represent the range of podcast writing in France from fiction and docu-fiction to documentaries.
2023 Sounds of New York laureate Léa Hirschfeld will offer a presentation of the program as part of the Longueur d’ondes Festival (Brest, France) on Thursday, February 9 at Le Quartz from 2:00pm to 3:00pm.
The 2024 Laureautes
Christophe Payet, journalist, author, and producer
Founder and editorial director of the podcast studio Sonique, Christophe Payet is also an editorial advisor for the television channel ARTE France. Former digital director of Radio Nova, he previously worked for the French national public radio stations France Culture and France Inter. He also co-founded the narrative nonfiction publishing house Marchialy. As an author and host, he notably created the podcasts Banana Kush and Le sens de la fête. He also wrote and hosted the creative fiction-magazine shows Au Shaker pas à la cuillère and Chérie j’ai rebooté le shaker on France Inter.
Camille Maestracci, freelance journalist, author, and podcaster
Camille Maestracci graduated from the Sciences Po School of Journalism and spent one semester at the Missouri School of Journalism (Columbia, MO). She worked as a reporter and producer for local and national radio stations, including France Bleu, RMC, and franceinfo. She has also worked for international news outlets in Doha, Qatar, Italy (her second home), and in the US. She wrote numerous podcast series, including Les Attaquantes about women in football; Deux ans au Qatar on her experiences in the Emirates; and A flots et à sang, a documentary series on a case of decapitated seals in Brittany.
She launched the podcast Et si… with former presidential candidate Benoît Hamon, and she created and hosted Le podcast du Gorafi for two years for a famous French satirical website. She is now based in Rennes, Brittany, where she is working on many different projects from documentaries to fiction, for TV and podcasts, along with hopefully an eventual book adaptation of one of her series.
Zazie Tavitian, journalist and author
For the past 10 years, Zazie Tavitian has worked for various media outlets (print and radio) on subjects related to food, politics, and intimacy. Zazie writes for L’Obs and GQ, and reports for France Inter (on the cooking show On va déguster. She has also created a number of podcasts, including Dans le ventre (Sony Music), in which she portrays artists through the food they eat and À la recherche de Jeanne for Binge Audio, in which she retraces the steps of her great-great-grandmother, deported to Sobibor, thanks to a recipe book (SCAM documentary prize). She adapted and scripted the recipe book into a graphic novel, illustrated by Caroline Péron (Calmann Lévy). Zazie also gives workshops to teach young people how to create their own podcasts.
Tidiane Thiang, radio producer and director
Tidiane Thiang studied filmmaking at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français and media management at the Lille Higher School of Journalism. He has produced and directed documentaries and fiction in various African countries and in France as well as several radio series such as C’est la vie, Dianké, Au pays des Sao, and L’Afrique en conte, which are broadcasted on RFI (Radio France Internationale). He serves as a media consultant for several international NGOs, assisting them in the development of socially impactful audiovisual content. Additionally, he works as a fiction director at Radio France.
Norah Benarrosh Orsoni, radio documentary producer, writer, and Doctor of Social Anthropology
Norah Benarrosh Orsoni creates podcasts and independent documentaries for France Culture and other podcast studios. Her essays, poems, and pieces of fiction have been published in several journals, magazines, and books. Her creative projects integrate her interest in history, feminism, queerness, and identity. For a while now, as an extension of her literary training and research on LGBQI archives, her writing and radio projects have all shifted towards research on American queer culture.
Stéphane Michaka, writer
Stéphane Michaka was born in Paris in 1974. He graduated from Cambridge University with a first-class degree in English Literature and taught French in South Africa before embarking on a writing career. His radio plays include celebrated adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Moby-Dick, published as books and CDs by Radio France and Gallimard. He has written theater pieces, children’s books, and several novels among which the best-selling series include Cité 19 and the maritime mystery De larmes et d’écume (Of Tears and Foam, Pocket Jeunesse). His novel Scissors was published by Knopf Doubleday. For the Louvre Abu Dhabi, he has written The Pulse of Time, a story inspired by masterpieces of the museum’s collection and narrated by Saoud Al Kaabi, Irène Jacob, and Charles Dance.
Estelle Ndjandjo, radio and podcast journalist
Estelle Ndjandjo is a radio and podcast journalist, specialized in social issues. She started her career at RFI, before working for three years as a TV editor. She then flew to Dakar, where she had the opportunity to be a producer at Reuters and a journalist for Voice of America. She has produced sound productions in collaboration with French podcast studios like Binge Audio, Louie Media, Paradiso, RFI, and Radio France. She is based in Paris, but her work has led her to produce subjects in the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon. Recently, she also conducted her first investigation for Mediapart, an independent French media outlet. Since March 2023, she has been the spokesperson of AJAR, the association of anti-racist and journalists of color, aiming to fight against racism in the media.