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RadioWest and Utah Film Center have partnered to present the best in documentary filmmaking. We talk with established and new directors who are changing the way audiences see the world and then screen their films.

Through the Lens: Llama Nation

Tuesday, we're talking about llamas. Turns out they’re pretty fascinating. And a lot has changed for them over the years. Once persecuted by the Conquistadors, these days they're kept as pets, used for therapy, and dressed in costume for competition.

RadioWest divider.

Tuesday, we continue our Through the Lens series with a documentary film about llamas. That’s right, llamas. Unless you’re part of the llama in-group, you probably haven’t given a second thought to these South American animals. As it turns out, they’re pretty fascinating. Domesticated by the ancient Incans, these days they’re kept as pets, used as therapy animals, and shown in competition. We’ll talk about where the llama came from, where it’s going, and why the animal is so endearing.

On Thursday, April 5, RadioWest and the Utah Film Center will present a free screening of Tanner Shinnick and Aaron Allsop's documentary film Llama Nation as part of our Through the Lens series. It's at 7:00 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Shinnick and Allsop will join us in-person for a Q-and-A after the film. There may even be a llama or two there: we're working on it. You can get more information, and invite your friends, through the Facebook event.


  • Helen Cowie is a senior lecturer in modern history at the University of York in England. Her research focuses on the cultural history of science with a particular focus on the history of animals. She's the author of the book Llama [Indie bookstores|Amazon]
  • Tanner Shinnick directed the documentary film Llama Nation.
  • Aaron Allsop produced the film.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.