Truth Seekers Summit: RZA, Director Todd Haynes, Activist Dolores Huerta, and 'Pod Save America' Hosts Join Lineup

Rolling Stone and Variety are pleased to announce additional programming for the inaugural “Truth Seekers” virtual summit on August 26th, presented by Showtime Documentary Films. RZA will participate in a keynote conversation about creating, executive-producing, and composing Wu-Tang: An American Saga, a series that examines the Wu-Tang Clan’s formation, mega-success, and cultural influence.

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes will take part in a keynote conversation about his new documentary feature, The Velvet Underground, and give an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at his creative process in telling the story of the legendary rock band.

Community organizer Dolores Huerta — one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation — will take part in a keynote conversation covering her decades-long advocacy for civil rights, education reform, voter registration, and economic justice for low-income communities, as well as her recent work to encourage Covid-19 vaccinations.

Crooked Media’s Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor will join a conversation about co-founding the massively popular politics and culture podcast, Pod Save America, and building a podcasting empire.

The “Weapons of Mass Disinformation” panel will explore the January 6th insurrection and the challenges of truth-telling in a politically polarized society, featuring insights from John Podesta, former White House chief of staff; PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor; writer, director, and producer Billy Ray (The Comey Rule); and Anna Merlan, author of Republic of Lies.

Previously announced programming includes a keynote by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris (The Fog of War), and esteemed documentarian Stanley Nelson will receive the first Truth Seeker Award.

The “Vocabulary of Verité: How to Construct the Language of Documentaries” panel will feature filmmakers R.J. Cutler (Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry; Belushi), Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men; Bitchin: The Sound and Fury of Rick James), Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI; Why We Hate), Liz Garbus (I’ll Be Gone in the Dark; What Happened, Miss Simone?), and Dawn Porter (Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer).

And the “True Crime as an Agent of Change” panel will take attendees behind the scenes with writers, producers, and directors discussing how they develop a true-crime project and how those films can impact their real-world participants. Panelists include Joe Berlinger (Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel), Amy Ziering (Allen v. Farrow), Donald Albright (Up and Vanished), and Zackary Drucker (The Lady and the Dale).

The virtual experience is free to attend with registration, but availability is limited. To secure your spot to attend, register here. 

In conjunction with the Truth Seekers Summit, Variety and Rolling Stone have partnered to create a special print magazine that expands on the “Truth Seekers” theme with both original and archival investigative features that demonstrate the brands’ decades-long dedication to rigorous journalistic storytelling. The special issue will be sent to a select list of Variety and Rolling Stone subscribers on August 25th.

On July 1st, both publications created new website verticals devoted to documentary and investigative storytelling. Variety’s new section, accessible from the navigation bar and titled “Docs,” features documentary reviews, reporting about classic documentaries culled from the Variety archives, and documentary coverage from the world’s leading film festivals.

Rolling Stone’s new section, “Rolling Stone Reports,” includes new investigative reporting, original photography, classic articles — from Rolling Stone greats like Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Loder, Tom Wolfe, Matt Taibbi, and more — and coverage from within political and cultural events as they unfold.

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