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Topic Studios produces award-winning film, TV & podcasts, supporting creators at the forefront of culture.

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Jennie Bedusa

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Jason Ward has been an avid birdwatcher since he was a kid growing up in the Bronx, where he spotted a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon on a ledge outside his bedroom window. In the first season of Topic's new series, the avian advocate and father of two travels around the Northeast, from Cape May, New Jersey, to Maine, delighting audiences with his contagious curiosity about the natural world—and the creatures within it.
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Migration isn’t for the faint of heart. In Cape May, New Jersey, Jason witnesses songbirds battling howling winds, meets a team of migration researchers who outfit birds with high-tech GPS trackers, and gets up close and personal with the highly secretive yellow-billed cuckoo.
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In this premiere episode, Bronx native and bird-lover Jason Ward visits Central Park—“the best place in North America to see migrating birds”—where he joins thousands of warblers and compares the unique sound of a rose-breasted grosbeak to the squeak of rubber soles on a basketball court.
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So. Many. Birds. Jason throws himself into the joyful mayhem of New Jersey Audubon’s Fall Festival at the Cape May Bird Observatory, where he meets birding legend Pete Dunne and a married couple who moved into a van to become full-time, mobile birders.
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Jason delivers a beginner’s course in using a birder’s most important tool.
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Jason’s younger brother, Jeffrey, is also a birder, and when they head to Central Park together, their competitive instincts get triggered. In the midst of spotting turkey vultures and cedar waxwings, the duo discuss their “spark” birds and compare notes on what it’s really like to bird while black.
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Jason visits New York’s AMNH, where collections manager Paul Sweet gives him a special, behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest avian assortments in the world, which includes specimens of the extinct passenger pigeon, as well as parrots, owls, and Jason’s favorites, peregrine falcons.
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Seven billion people. One act. Infinite ways to do it. Everybody eats, but that’s where the similarities end. With the power to influence cultures, industries, and personal ambitions, eating is a direct entry point into understanding humanity
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On-Topic Shorts is a seasonal collection of short films carefully hand-picked from festival favorites, originally-produced world debuts, award-winning classics and early works by eminent filmmakers. Some of the biggest stories come in small packages.
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New Orleans lore collides with dark magic in this horror anthology series. Created by Coodie & Chike and starring Chad Coleman, PJ Morton and Omar Dorsey, these “Twilight Zone”-style tales expose chilling corners of the Big Easy.
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Get a glimpse at the future of health and rehab through five individuals testing out groundbreaking new technology and programs. Judging by their stories, the future is bright.
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After an accident left him wheelchair-bound, Robert turned his life around with the help of ReWalk, a cutting-edge robotic exoskeleton. A revealing look at how much our bodies rely on walking.
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To us they’re mundane objects, but to them they’re priceless. House on Fire asks individuals to save one thing if their house were ablaze. The items they choose tell entire stories about culture, identity, and the true value of material possessions.
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Like many seniors in the US, Betsy has chronic health issues but not the finances to treat them, until she found TIPS (Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors). Now she has help, and a new family.
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After an accident left him wheelchair-bound, Robert turned his life around with the help of ReWalk, a cutting-edge robotic exoskeleton. A revealing look at how much our bodies rely on walking.
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The era of relying on opioids is over. Virtual reality technology is enabling individuals with injury-induced paralysis like Woody to reduce chronic pain through simulating movements with VR limbs.
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Technology is enabling paralyzed individuals to have more options than ever. Sergio, a quadriplegic, trades his mouthstick for an app that allows him to paint using simple facial movements.
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Cascade Locks, OR is a scenic town that was narrowly saved from a forest fire in 2017. This episode explores how almost losing everything changes one’s relationship to property and possessions.
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Dignity Village and Kenton Women's Village, OR are self-run communities for previously homeless people. Being homeless has given some residents a uniquely profound perspective on material possessions.
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Woodburn, OR is an agricultural town with a large Latinx population. In this episode, residents choose items that tell their immigrant stories and seemingly banal objects that they can’t live without.
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Happy Valley, OR is a storybook upper middle-class suburb known for being safe. Here residents reflect on the importance of maintaining that sense of safety through their material possessions.
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