About the Festival

Replay Storytelling (Canada), in collaboration with the Mezrab (The Netherlands), The Story Collider (United States, Canada, England, and New Zealand), and Bodies of Stories (Canada) are bringing the world together for 24 hours — sharing all-true personal stories from every corner of the globe, all online.

The 24-hour True Storytelling Festival was founded in March 2020, after the declaration of the global pandemic, and as governments around the world imposed self-isolation.

This is an online gathering of storytellers from around the world, sharing personal stories, without any notes, to a live audience over twenty-four hours, all online.

The inaugural festival will take place from Saturday, June 13th to Sunday, June 14th. The theme is: WHEN THE IMPOSSIBLE BECOMES POSSIBLEtrue personal stories of unexpected surprises, human resilience, and coming through on the other side.

If you’d like to volunteer with us, click here.

Our team

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Paul Aflalo is a storyteller and documentary producer. He creates narrative-driven pieces for film, radio and podcasts. His work has been featured on CBC Radio, SiriusXM, and presented at film festivals around the world, including the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Paul is also the artistic director of Replay Storytelling. His focus has always been to help others share the stories that need to be told.

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Misha Gajewski is a freelance journalist, educator and senior producer and co-host for The Story Collider Podcast. Her work has appeared on Vice, CTV News, and the BBC, among others. She also writes a popular real-estate column for BlogTO, and is a script writer for the award-winning YouTube channel SciShow, which has over five million subscribers.

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With over 30 years of experience working in theatre, television and film, Zebulon Pike is familiar with the power of storytelling. 10 years ago, he went to a live storytelling show and hasn’t looked back. Since then he’s been performing and working with other storytellers on their craft. Zebulon’s stories have been featured on CBC Radio, and he has performed at storytelling shows around the world. Zeb is a producer at Replay Storytelling.

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Emily Poulin is a storyteller, writer, improviser and comedian in Toronto. You can find her performing at various shows around the city. Emily is also a producer at Replay Storytelling. Aside from writing and performing, she loves hanging out with her kids, Winston and Murphy. Winston being a perfect bulldog, and Murphy being a flawless tabby cat. She loves them both, very much.

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Brune Smith is a storyteller, and the founder of Bodies of Stories, an international online storytelling show, with the feel of your cozy living room. She was born in France and moved to Canada, where she went to her first true storytelling show. Brune strives to make this art form accessible beyond venues, cities and borders, and also helps other producers host their storytelling shows online. She enjoys diving into the whys and hows of true-story-making, through video interviews with storytellers and story producers.

Our Producing Partners

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Sameena Zehra is a storyteller, comedian, political satirist, intersectional feminist and humanist with a unique take on the world; equally at home exploring the individual experiences of daily life and the larger issues of the world we live in. Her belief is that art is the manifest expression of philosophy, and philosophy is the template for civilisation; how we express our humanity and access the humanity of others.

Sameena has performed her solo shows all over the world, including Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and New Zealand Fringe, where she was nominated for ‘Best In Fringe’ 2016, and won ‘Outstanding Performer’ in 2017. She is a writer, director and accomplished actor who has worked at the National Theatre, and toured internationally with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is also a blues singer/songwriter and extreme doodler.

Devan Sandiford

Devan Sandiford is a published writer and award-winning storyteller living in Brooklyn, New York. Devan’s stories have been featured in the Washington Post, The Moth Podcast, Speak Up Storytelling, The Womanity Project, Writing Class Radio, Love Hurts Podcast, and the IntersXctions Podcast. Devan’s story, The Loudest Whisper, was chosen to be the companion to a story told by Rev. Al Sharpton for Black History Month 2020. Having experienced the feeling of his burdens being lightened through sharing his pains, Devan founded Unreeling Storytelling to provide a platform for unraveling the repressed perspectives of people of color, women, and other under-represented populations. Devan is working on his first book, a memoir in essays, which is a vulnerable account of the painful moments of racism and microaggressions he never shared with anyone while growing up.

Dogs of Fun photography, Authentic Dog Photography

Enid Nolasco is the Founder and Host of the true storytelling podcast and live show, RAW Storytelling in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is also the Founder and Creative Director of branding and design studio, RAW Made. She is an expert in brand development, graphic design, and storytelling with over 15 years of experience in the entertainment and design industry. She truly believes we all have a story to tell as individuals and businesses. Her strategic and intuitive ability to uncover the story hidden beneath the surface is at the very heart of RAW Made and RAW Storytelling.

Briane Nasimok

Storyteller, writer and producer Briane Nasimok is a Canadian Comedy Award recipient an auteur of his one person show “Confessions of an Operatic Mute”. Of his many credits, his fondest might be spending two ears writing on Canadian Sesame Street, where he got to put his head through Oscar’s garbage can. Briane is a co-producer of But That’s Another Story in Toronto, Canada, along wtih Christel Bartelse.

Ashley Kilback

Ashley Kilback is a storyteller, writer, speaker, and founder of The Storytellers Club, a community who brings people together to share true stories about their lived experiences that connect us to our common humanity. Through the work of The Storytellers Club, Ashley is committed to creating opportunities for people to share their stories in a social environment that is safe, inclusive and supportive. Aside from her work with The Storytellers Club, Ashley works in the non-profit sector as a story and connection specialist, hosts a podcast called How To Be More Human, and is in the process of writing her first collection of poetry. With a curious mind, a big heart, and a vision for connecting humanity in meaningful ways, Ashley is creating a more connected world, one story at a time.

Rick Beenham

Richard Beenham is a British actor, voiceover artist and storyteller from Atherton, near Manchester, and despite being based in London for the last twenty years refuses to compromise his northern accent. He’s been a member of the Spark True Stories team for a year now, and co-hosts their monthly night in Brixton.

Christel Bartelse

Christel Bartelse is an actor, performer, storyteller, teacher, writer and is mostly known for her full length solo shows which she has toured all over Canada. She’s can be seen performing in a variety of art forms all over the city (when not self isolating) and she is also the co-producer, and co host of But That’s Another Story with Briane Nasimok, and runs a comedy variety cabaret in the city as well.

When the Impossible, becomes Possible

June 13th to June 14th, 2020