Favourite local podcast

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1. Witchpolice Radio

2. The Reel Debaters

3. Barking Dog

In a “sea of podcasts”– as Micheal Petrow, executive producer and host of The Reel Debaters Podcast, puts it – big and small, there is but one podcast to rule them all.

“If you’re at a house party, and you’re talking about who’s got the best spaceship in a sci-fi movie, one of those conversations, it’s hard to find an answer. That’s what we do on the show,” Petrow says.

He describes the award-winning podcast as a “small select group of film nerds, cinephiles, filmmakers, comic-book collectors, AV nerds” from all walks of life.

After 230-plus episodes in the bag, The Reel Debaters Podcast shows no sign of slowing down. With a laundry list of local talent and a rotating format for each episode, stagnation is unlikely.

“We have three different sections to the show. We have the comedic aspect, which is the debate. Then we have real talk sessions, which are open format/open floor, where we pick topics out of a hat or a list from online and critique it,” Petrow says.

The third segment involves interviewing industry professionals, from resident makeup artist Doug Morrow to bodybuilding and superheroic legend Lou Ferrigno.

“I started to pick apart the local film industry because I work in it, and I know that there is a lot of talent and behind-the-scenes positions that don’t get noticed,” Petrow says.

He attributes their success to knowing their audience. Unlike nine-figure tentpole productions popping up in theatres, the Reel Debaters are less than concerned with mass appeal.

“We know who’s listening, and we know them well. We just act like ourselves and try to be as approachable and fun and silly as possible,” Petrow says.

“We love the devoted niche audience that we have. We’re for people who talk movies, who live movies, for whom the movie theatre is their church.”

Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)

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