UnFictional: KCRW’s Newest Program

Beginning September 28, from 2:30 to 3 pm and on most Tuesdays, public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica, 89.9 FM (KCRW.com), presents UnFictional, a new series showcasing the work of independent producers and storytellers. The series will be available streaming live at KCRW.com, on-demand and as a podcast.

One of the first commitments Jennifer Ferro made, upon being appointed to her post as KCRW General Manager in February, was to create a place on KCRW for independent producers.

With the help of a generous seed grant from The Annenberg Foundation, Ferro is making good on her promise.

“This is the debut of the Independent Producer Project. With UnFictional, we’ll be featuring the work of independent producers who haven’t had the means to do their work,” said Ferro. “KCRW will cultivate, curate and commission these talented storytellers in the months to come. This show and the Independent Producer Project won’t be confined to just one medium. Film, photographs and the written word all will live under the Independent Producer Project umbrella and UnFictional will shine a light on all of it. Host Bob Carlson knows what makes a compelling story, and I can’t wait to see what he’s collected each week.”

UnFictional will present fascinating documentary production and storytelling that covers the ground between the sophisticated and the profane. Audiences will hear captivating stories of real life, created by the most talented producers from around the country, as well as stories from writers and performers based in Los Angeles.

Work from some of the higher profile independents such as the award-winning producer Joe Richman (Radio Diaries) and MacArthur Genius Grant award recipient David Isay (StoryCorps) will be included, along with Southern California based storytellers, including some from The Moth storytelling series, whose radio programs KCRW has broadcast, and which produces three live “StorySlams” per month in Los Angeles.

The program is hosted and curated by KCRW producer and Production Director, Bob Carlson. He has an ear for compelling radio stories that are funny, sad, sincere and often dark. Listen for stories of hometowns and family secrets, as well as tales of drugs, sex, and aliens (both extraterrestrial and earthbound.)

In the first episode of UnFictional:

A personal story of crossing the border and protecting the border.  We hear from a woman named Connie, who talks to her mother about their long ago illegal crossing to the U.S. from Mexico, and the family’s early struggles to raise their children here. After that, we learn about the unexpected turn in Connie’s life, when her husband takes a job that challenges what it means to be an immigrant. It’s a fascinating, funny and thoughtful lesson in family, culture and patriotism.

Also: a heartbreaking tale of an Inuit Eskimo boy who finds himself in turn of the century New York City.