RadioWest @Sundance

Each year, RadioWest sits down for in-depth conversations with filmmakers and producers during the Sundance Film Festival. Just like the festival, the RadioWest team has eclectic taste. We hope you enjoy the diversity of topics as much as we do.

  Last year, student loan debt in America topped $1 trillion. That fact led filmmaker Andrew Rossi to investigate whether higher education is actually worth the sky-rocketing cost of tuition. His latest documentary film, Ivory Tower, examines the costs and benefits of college, and it tries to find out what higher ed is really all about, what it does well, where it fails, and whether the growing number of alternatives to university are actual viable. Rossi joins us Thursday to talk about his film as we continue our coverage of the Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance 2014: E-Team

Jan 22, 2014
Rachel Beth Anderson

We're started our coverage of Sundance with the documentary film E-TEAM. The film follows four human rights workers as they investigate war crimes in the world's most dangerous places. These abuses thrive on secrecy, and it's their job to gather evidence and make it known to the international community. Doug sat down with filmmaker Ross Kauffman and with team members Anna Neistat and Ole Solvang for a look at the lives of people who risk so much in the interest of justice. (Rebroadast)

Sundance 2014: Mitt

Jan 17, 2014

Monday, we continue our Sundance coverage with Greg Whiteley's new documentary, MITT. Whiteley filmed for six years with unfettered access to the Romney clan, from their 2006 Christmas dinner through the presidential candidate's loss in 2012. The film is less about politics though than a portrait of a family navigating the long hours, stress and disappointments of a campaign. Whiteley joins Doug to talk about the human side of politics and the Mitt Romney voters didn't see.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, bandleader Fela Anikulapo Kuti took his native Nigeria by storm with his pioneering Afrobeat sound. The music was funky, jazzy and politically confrontational, and it spread across the continent and around the world. At home in Africa, Afrobeat played a pivotal role in the postcolonial activism of the era. It also put Kuti in direct conflict with Nigeria’s repressive military regime. Friday we’re joined in Park City by Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney, who’s made a film about Kuti’s life and his enduring relevance.

Sundance 2014: E-Team

Jan 14, 2014
Rachel Beth Anderson

We're starting our coverage of Sundance with a live broadcast Wednesday night. We're talking about E-TEAM, a documentary that follows four human rights workers as they investigate war crimes in the world's most dangerous places. These abuses thrive on secrecy, and it's their job to gather evidence and make it known to the international community. Doug sits down with filmmaker Ross Kauffman and with team members Anna Neistat and Ole Solvang for a look at the lives of people who risk so much in the interest of justice.

A missing girl, a cult-like organization and its guru, a well-meaning public agency no one has ever heard of, and the actual brick-and-mortar cities of the San Francisco Bay Area. These are the ingredients in a reality-bending game profiled in Spencer McCall’s documentary film The Institute, which showed at this year's Slamdance Film Festival. More than 10,000 people played the Games of Nonchalance, but who was behind them and what was the point? Thursday, we’ll journey through the looking glass with McCall to explore a world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.

2013 (c) HBO

  Tim Hetherington preferred "image-maker" over photographer to describe what he did in war zones. He wanted to capture personal moments in the midst of chaos, and the result was stunning work as seen in the documentary "Restrepo." But weeks after attending the Oscars with the film, Hetherington was killed by mortar fire in Libya. In trying to understand the tragic death, his co-producer Sebastian Junger found himself making a documentary. It's part of Sundance, and Wednesday, Junger and producer James Brabazon join Doug to talk about Hetherington's work and the job of journalists in war.

In 2002, Google began to scan millions of books in an effort to generate a giant global library, containing every book in existence. Their true purpose was even more formidable: to create a higher form of intelligence, something H.G. Wells predicted in his 1937 essay “World Brain.” Google says they are building a library for mankind, but some say they also have other intentions. The filmmaker Ben Lewis has made a documentary that grapples with the questions raised by the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet, and he joins us on Tuesday.

Sundance 2013: Anita

Jan 18, 2013

Anita Hill was a young law professor in 1991 when the Senate Judiciary Committee invited her to testify about the behavior of then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill shared a difficult story of sexual harassment by her former boss, but the all-male committee was hostile in its interrogation and Hill was publically attacked for being a liar and a man-hater. Monday, Doug sits down with Anita Hill and filmmaker Freida Mock to talk about the Sundance documentary called "Anita" and about how Hill's experience changed gender politics in America.

Friday, we continue our coverage of Sundance with the filmmakers of the documentary Who Is Dayani Cristal? Every day, immigrants from Central and South America try to cross into the United States in search of a better future. Who Is Dayani Cristal? explores that struggle through one man, a John Doe, his corpse found decomposing beneath a tree by Arizona’s border police. The film follows the clues to uncover the unidentified man’s history, revealing along the way how America’s problematic and far-reaching immigration policies affect a single human life. 

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