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RZA, Todd Haynes, Activist Dolores Huerta and ‘Pod Save America’ Hosts Join Variety and Rolling Stone’s Inaugural Truth Seekers Summit

Variety and Rolling Stone are pleased to announce additional programming for the inaugural Truth Seekers virtual summit on Aug. 26, 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 looking at the Wu-Tang Clan’s iconic 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. 

Activist and community organizer Dolores Huerta — one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and the president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) — will take part in a keynote conversation about her decades-long advocacy for civil rights, advocating for education reform, reshaping the landscape for low-income communities, getting out the vote, and her recent work to encourage COVID 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 challenges in presenting the truth in a highly polarized society consumed by conspiracy theories, featuring John Podesta, former White House chief of staff; Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent, “PBS NewsHour”; Billy Ray, writer, director and producer (“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”). Stanley Nelson will receive the Truth Seeker Award.  

Additional panels will include “The Vocabulary of Verité: How to Construct the Language of Documentaries” featuring 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”).   

The “True Crime as an Agent of Change” panel will go behind the scenes with writers, producers and directors as they conceive a true crime project and how the documentary becomes part of the overall narrative of the story. 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 variety.com/truthseekers

Corresponding with the Truth Seekers Summit, Variety and Rolling Stone will partner to create a special print issue that expands on the Truth Seekers theme with stories — both original and archival — that demonstrate the brands’ decades-long dedication to the truth. The special issue will be sent to a select list of Variety and Rolling Stone subscribers on Aug. 25.   

On July 1, the iconic brands also 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, titled “Rolling Stone Reports,” includes new Rolling Stone investigative reporting; original photography; classic Rolling Stone articles from greats like Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Loder, Tom Wolfe, Matt Taibbi, and more; and coverage from political and cultural events, as they unfold.  

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