Announcing The Whickers Radio & Audio Award Finalists 2020

We are excited to finally announce our 2020 Radio & Audio Funding Award finalists!

Our judges were wowed by five amazing stories ranging from single women in India challenging the universal notion of the “Happily Ever After”, to a rare and immersive reflection on the mental legacy of the Vietnam War, to an unassuming Mancunian combining hard science with mystery and legend. Take a look below for the full story of each project in the running to win our coveted annual Radio & Audio Funding Award (RAFA).

Jane Ray, Artistic Director of The Whickers, said of the shortlist:
“We have been amazed by the range and diversity of projects that have landed on our doorstep from across the globe. We received applications from as far as Jamaica, South Sudan, Kenya, Russia, Bolivia and the Philippines and were blown away by the range of unique stories and refreshing voices across the board. In comparison to last year, we saw an almost 500% increase in the amount of applications, which although incredible, made our Judge’s task of choosing just five finalists more impossible than ever. It’s made me wonder if the necessities of global lockdown have forced documentary creatives away from the visual image and propelled them towards audio, which as we know is gaining popularity as the place to tell important stories that cannot be told in any other medium. Having changed the format from a public pitch to a series of development workshops this year, we have shifted the emphasis from polish to potential. Slick teasers and sure-footed proposals missed out to the raw, but authentic voices of those working in isolation in places or through situations we rarely get to hear about. We are very excited to hear the wonderful audio documentaries that are going to arise out of this.”

Unlike in previous years, our RAFA finalists will not be pitching their projects for a chance to become this year’s winner. Instead, our finalists have already won £1000 each and are invited to join our Whickers Audio Inspiration Lab, a series of workshops hosted in partnership with Open City Documentary Festival. Through these development workshops, the project that shows the most improvement and impresses our team the most, will be picked as our 2020 RAFA winner and will take home an additional £5000, including mentorship from top industry professional Eleanor McDowall.