RadioWest Films: A Collaborative Series Curated by Doug Fabrizio and KUER

RadioWest Films presents unique stories with a focus on Utah. Each week, we’ll present a short documentary drawing from a variety of styles: story driven, conceptual,  profiles and more. It’s a place for film lovers to watch innovative storytelling and to meet Utah’s most talented filmmakers.

And there are some films that we just want to keep talking about. Here's a collection of radio conversations paired with our short films. Think of it this way ... stories you hear, stories you see. 

Visit us at films.radiowest.org to browse shorts by RadioWest and other Utah filmmakers.

Below you'll find RadioWest conversations that go in-depth on topics and issues at the heart of some of our short films.

The Value of Teachers

Apr 19, 2018
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Thursday, we’re talking about the money teachers make, and what that tells us about how the profession is valued. We’ll also ask how Utah stacks up and what the state is doing about it.

Sanctuary

Mar 20, 2018
Kelsie Moore/KUER

Salt Lake City’s First Unitarian Church is giving sanctuary to a young Honduran mother facing deportation. Tuesday, we’re talking about sanctuary and the tension between moral conscience and the law.

Handel's Messiah

Dec 15, 2017
Kelsie Moore/KUER

We’ve just posted a film about an exquisite aria from Handel’s Messiah. So Friday, we’re talking about the oratorio. It’s a story with scandal, godliness, and of course, beautiful music.

The Monastic Life

Dec 14, 2017
Kelsie Moore/KUER

How did a Trappist monastery flourish in the mountains of Utah for 70 years, and what led to its closing? Thursday, we’re talking about the history of monastic life and how it is expressed today.

Turf War

Sep 15, 2017
Kelsie Moore / KUER

It's no secret that Americans love their lawns. In fact, grass is the largest crop in the United States. But as water becomes more scarce and chemical treatments more toxic, an anti-lawn movement has sprouted. Some are questioning whether we should keep our finely-manicured grass or plant gardens instead. Friday, Doug talks lawns with The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert about her article "Turf War," and Ted Steinberg, author of American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn. (Rebroadcast)

Memory's Last Breath

Jun 12, 2017
Josh Weathers / KUER

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. She was 61 years old at the time, and soon had to leave her post teaching at the University of Utah. So Gerda started writing what she calls her field notes on dementia. The result is a new memoir due out this week. We’ve been following Gerda over the last year with a series of short films documenting her journey, and Monday, Doug sits down to talk to her about her book. It’s called Memory’s Last Breath.

In a run-down commercial block in Salt Lake City, Ralphael Plescia has spent some 50 years making art that tells the story of creation as he understands it. He’s hollowed out tunnels, built narrow bridges over bubbling groundwater, and his sculptures are embedded in the walls. Wednesday, we profile a new short film that asks why Ralphael has made this his life work and what will happen to it when he dies. We’ll also explore other “outsider” Utah artists who bring a unique view to our world.

Questions surrounding suicide have been with us for at least as long as we’ve had written record, and the answers are as varied as the times and places where they were discussed. Wednesday, Doug sits down with philosophy scholar Margaret Battin. She’s spent her career collecting the works of religious and secular thinkers regarding suicide. It has been considered noble, immoral, heroic and cowardly, and we’ll talk about what all of those views teach us about end-of-life issues today.

Invented Languages

Sep 22, 2015
Josh Weathers / KUER

Tuesday, we’re talking about 'ach yIn nuvpu' Hol chenmoH 'Iv, Klingon for “people who create language.” Constructed languages aren’t just for science fiction though. The linguist Arika Okrent says that people have been inventing their own languages for centuries. They’ve wanted to better understand the world, build Utopia or create artistic expression. She’ll join us, along with filmmakers working on a documentary about “conlangs”, to explore how playing with language helps us understand ourselves.

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