The reason that I chose this next Buffalo International Film Festival selection trailer is that it reminded me of the plight of all indie radio stations, of which there are fewer and fewer these days. Personally, I’m a huge fan of WBNY, 91.3 in Buffalo. The only difference is that the radio station featured in the film doesn’t get its funding from the Mandatory Student Activity Fee. Instead it relies solely on advertising and community support for its funding, which can be difficult to come by when going head to head with the mainstream, corporate run radio stations. What I love about the indie radio stations is that they are free to play what they want, be as free spirited as they want, and tend to mimic the oft surreal and spontaneous patterns of real life.
This is the story of a wild and wacky indie radio station WFMU of Jersey City. It’s as if we were to take 91.3 (WBNY) and Hallwalls and mash them together to create an independent radio station. The station would be filled with incredibly brilliant and bazaar musicians, artists, and radio personalities. The only problem is that mainstream corporations and listeners don’t tune in to the genuine artsy programming, which is fine and dandy except that the bottom line of the station is impacted at the same time. And that’s a problem, as we clearly see here.
Tim K. Smith’s warm and hilarious character study of WFMU, Jersey City’s influential freeform radio station, home to several misfits and FCC rule breakers including Tom Scharpling (Best Show) and Kenneth Goldsmith (broadcasting as Kenny G). Born on an abandoned college campus, WFMU struggles to survive in a world of shrinking funding despite celebrity admirers including Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Matt Groening and Patton Oswalt.
Sex and Broadcasting | Saturday, October 17, 2015 | 9:15pm | The Screening Room | Buffalo International Film Festival
If you can’t want to see some more BIFF previews, here is a link to the playlist – BIFF October 15-18, 2015.
Also, click here to see full festival film line-up.