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

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Ryan Chanatry

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In support of Black Lives Matter, Sri Kumare focuses this episode on how to break the cycle of systemic racism. It starts with the individual—we must acknowledge and eradicate our implicit biases.
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Love comes in different forms, but most importantly we need to love ourselves. In this episode, Sri Kumare dispenses some valuable wisdom on how to change our narratives to achieve self-love.
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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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A timely mash-up of original sketches, musical performances, animation and rare Second City footage. Featuring Second City alumni and famous friends and filmed from basements, bedrooms and bunkers from across the country.
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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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He might be a false prophet, but Sri Kumaré has been known to teach true enlightenment. In his documentary, the fake guru gained real followers, whose lives he changed through his made-up teachings. Now Kumare is back with a new series, The Guru Inside You. Each episode focuses on a different issue, from loneliness to diet trends, with even wilder and funnier teachings. Get real spiritual guidance from a false prophet, and have fun in the process.
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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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This intimate portrait of a tennis instructor is like a meditation on finding strength and peace through the ritual that is bringing ball to racket. She’s tough as nails when she’s training her students, but in her personal life, she’s grieving her mother’s health and old age. The only thing that recenters her is practicing her serve. When she’s on the court, she finds her breath again and transforms into the formidable athlete and instructor that most people see.
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In episode two, Sri Kumare tackles loneliness, an issue that affected 60 million Americans even before quarantine but is now more pervasive than ever. From being ghosted on Zoom to not being able to go to SoulCycle, these are troubling times. Luckily, Kumare is here to offer his unique spiritual wisdom. For example, loneliness is a lot like cheese—it can be hard, stinky, and open a hole inside of you. Also, don’t hold in your loneliness or else you might get an emotional UTI.
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In episode one, Sri Kumare teaches his most important lesson: how to be your own guru. He reminds us that people who call themselves spiritual leaders are frauds, so it’s best to be your own. But if all else fails, there’s always mimosas.
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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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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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Professor of law, psychology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at USC's Gould School of Law, Elyn Saks sits down with Maria Bamford to share her personal experiences with schizophrenia.
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Maribeth Monroe hosts; musician Andrew Bird performs; Amber Ruffin interviews Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot; special guest Rachael Leigh Cook.
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Welcome to first episode of the Last Show Left on Earth.
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Legendary comedy force The Second City enlists its finest alumni and famous friends for a mash-up world of original sketch comedy, animated shorts, musical performances, interviews, and more. Chrsitina Anthony hosts; musician Valerie June performs "Angel From Montgomery" as a tribute to the late John Prine. Fred Armisen guest stars.
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Lauren Ash hosts The Second City's sketch comedy, music and variety show featuring NBA champion and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr; plus a performance by Bethany Costino of Best Coast.
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As a young man, James made a deal that left his filthy rich, but meant he could never know his son. Ten years later, James has become accustomed to the high life and taken to frequenting a local jazz club, dropping big tips for the kid who plays keys, Terrence. However, when the time on his deal runs out, James is tormented by the fact that he has to make a final delivery to the dark spirit or else sacrifice his own soul. He sends Terrence, who learns a secret from his own past and is forced to pay for James’s sins, unless, he too can make a deal...
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Recent transplants to New Orleans, Andrew and his wife Sarah are struggling with his insomnia. When a local cab driver recommends a Pillow Shop, a desperate Andrew will do anything to get a wink of shut eye. The shop owner promises good dreams, and Andrew is thrilled when it delivers, curing Andrew’s sleepless woes. But when Sarah snuggles her head on his pillow and gets a glimpse of his dreams herself, she sees that there is a more sinister side to what the pillow is offering.
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New Orleans, 1968. After the death of her mother, eight-year-old Althea is left in the care of her devoutly religious yet verbally abusive godmother, Grace. When the abuse heightens, Althea turns to drawing to release her pain. Unbeknownst to her, Althea's thoughts expressed through her art manifest far beyond the paper. After Grace suffers an untimely death, Althea is taken in by Grace's friend, a kind, fellow church-member. Years pass, and Althea moves with her own family into a new home. While unpacking, Althea’s daughter stumbles upon her mother's old drawings and unearths more than just memories of Althea's past.
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