Programmer - Thom Powers

Thom Powers

Lead Programmer, TIFF Docs


portrait of Thom Powers

Thom Powers has been TIFF’s documentary programmer since 2006 and spent several years overseeing the Mavericks Conversation series. Highlights of his Festival career include the premieres of future Oscar winners Free Solo, Undefeated, and Inside Job; and Oscar nominees such as Attica, Collective, The Cave, Faces Places, and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. He’s hosted on-stage conversations with esteemed figures including Jane Goodall, Grace Jones, André Leon Talley, Yo-Yo Ma, Samantha Power, Keith Richards, Bill Gates, and LeBron James.

He is the founding artistic director of DOC NYC, the largest documentary festival in the United States, and created many of its offshoot programs including Pro Conference, Visionaries Tribute, Short List, 40 Under 40, and Monday Memo. In 2022, after 12 years as artistic director, he took a new role as DOC NYC’s director of special projects.

Powers is the host of two podcasts: Pure Nonfiction and WNYC’s Documentary of the Week. He is a co-founder of the Montclair Film Festival, the Cinema Eye Honors, and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. He’s been a speaker at film events across Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia; and a juror at Cannes, Sundance, and CPH:DOX, among other festivals.

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