KPCW Producer of The Sundance Reel Talks Interviews, Memories, and Inspiration

KPCW reporters Leslie Thatcher (left), Beth Fratkin (middle), Rick Brough (right).

KPCW reporters Leslie Thatcher (left), Beth Fratkin (middle), Rick Brough (right).

When the Sundance Film Festival rolls around, local radio station KPCW gears up for The Sundance Reel, a chat and interview program with producers, directors and various talent attached to projects at the festival.

For each 10 minute interview segment, Producer Beth Fratkin spends hours researching, reaching out, scheduling and rescheduling to make it all happen. “I usually end up having to reschedule each interview at least two times, sometimes more. I mostly communicate with the publicists and some of them work at large firms and it gets confusing when different people are pitching the same interviews. It’s hard to keep track of who said what.”

Beth meets new directors each year, and hears from actors who are so excited to be at the festival. “It’s fun to run into them around town after their premieres and after they've gotten a great response to their film.”

Beth met Marina Abramovic one year and was fascinated. “She was promoting a documentary about her career as a performance artist. I was totally awed by her intensity. She got me thinking about how we communicate and interpret ourselves and others. How we interact with each other and how life is truly a performance. Her art initially seemed a bit over the top and a little bizarre, but she ended up being a revelation to me.”

The “hot” buzzy filmmakers are always fun to book, but sometimes Beth finds the more obscure filmmakers, who are so incredibly passionate about their projects, are the most interesting on-air guests. 

If Beth would be able to book the most famous attendee at the festival, what would she ask Robert Redford himself? “What have you wrought?” she replied.

Beth has a suggestion for local Parkites attending the festival. “I recommend going to see some documentaries and films from other countries. Your experience might be delightful and you might even discover a new passion.” 

Tune in to KPCW, 91.7, from 9-10 am weekdays and 8-10 am weekends to The Sundance Reel or check it out on their website:

Festivals, FilmBarbara Bretz