CHRIS FREY—Journalist, filmmaker, writer, etc.


CHRIS FREY is a journalist, filmmaker, editor, and writer based in Toronto. May Flowers, his first feature-length documentary, co-directed with Patrick Pittman, captures one month in the life of a city during pandemic times; it will be released in 2023. He is currently a partner at No Media Co., an editorial studio and independent media house.

During a 30-year career in media he has founded three award-winning publications, including Hazlitt, where he served as both editorial director and director of digital publishing for Penguin Random House Canada, Hazlitt’s publisher. He is a six-time winner at the National Magazine Awards, in categories ranging from writing, video, and web design to best overall magazine and website. For ten years, he served as the Toronto correspondent for Monocle magazine and radio. With deep experience across a broad range of media—from magazine feature writing to producing radio and video documentaries—he has contributed to the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, the Walrus, Monocle, National Post, Azure, ICON, Alpine Review, Kinfolk, Maisonneuve, Canadian Geographic. 

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With Patrick Pittman he produces Buckslip, the bi-weeklyish newsletter in which a few friends wander the landscape of all that we’re living through, and weave a few sensemaking threads from what we find.

New, recent, and upcoming

—Maybe this will be the last of the bad months before things start to get better. A documentary record covering one month in the life of a city during pandemic times, stranded somewhere between Covid’s worst wave and the first glimmers of light. Loosely inspired by Chris Marker's 1963 film Le joli mai. A No Media Co. film, co-directed with Patrick Pittman. Coming in 2023.



In collaboration with the Near Future Laboratory, the definitive text on the origins, evolution, and current practice of design fiction: the making of fictional artifacts in order to explore questions about the future, technology, culture, and change. Full of insights from the fields of design, business, foresight, and technology, with important lessons about understanding the nature of technological transformation and its implications. Published in early 2023.

First edition hardcover printing sold out. Softcover edition now available.  

“What is design fiction?” video.


“that which is generally not taken note of, that which is not noticed, that which has no importance: what happens when nothing happens other than the weather, people, cars, and clouds” (Georges Perec). An ongoing series of short observational films shot at various city intersections. Originally commissioned by Live Magazine for the Bentway Street Summit in Toronto. More coming throughout fall 2022. 

series available on YouTube


For the Globe and Mail, a cover essay on the nineties coming back to haunt us. How our current nostalgia for the decade obscures the story of how paths taken then created the crises of the present.  

Selected past work

Manuel Herz challenges prevailing ideas about memorialization in architecture with his visionary design for a new commemorative synagogue on the site of the Babyn Yar massacre
Arcade (2023)

Who is the future for: An interview with Devon Powers on the business of forecasting the future
Buckslip (2020)

The New Democrats: How Jagmeet Singh is redressing the stereotype of the image conscious politician
Kinfolk (2018)

Pot dealers on why legalization won’t kill the black market
The Guardian (2018)

In Jair Bolsonaro, we’re seeing a truer reflection of what Brazil really is
The Globe and Mail (2018)

Turkey on the edge: Documentarian Imre Azen on Erdogan’s crackdown
Monocle 24 Radio (2017)

Istanbul double meanings: Talking with psych-rockers Baba Zula
Monocle 24 Radio (2017)

Revealed: How facial recognition has invaded shops, and your privacy
The Guardian (2016)

Of Potemkins and Putin Park: The politics of public space in Moscow
Alpine Review (2016)

Will Daniel Galera’s Blood-Drenched Beard be a breakout moment for Brazilian literature?
The Globe and Mail (2015)

Unruly city: Inside Rio de Janeiro’s mission control
The Guardian (2014)

Confronting the language of lies’: Masha Gessen on Pussy Riot
Hazlitt (2014)

Writing against oblivion: Alexander Stille on Berlusconi, fascism, and poking around the attic of family memory
Hazlitt (2014)

An interview with Jeff Goodman, the accidental inventor of phone sex
Hazlitt/The Arcade podcast (2014), with Anshuman Iddamsetty

Oscar’s legacy: On Niemeyer’s Brasilia through the eyes of Iwan Baan
Azure (2013)

On Arthur Lipsett: Little experiments in overwhelming sadness
Maisonneuve (2010)

The Holy Now: How African pentacostalism is changing the world
The Walrus (2009)

A Land Apart: Turkey at the crossroads
The Walrus (2008)