On Wednesday, the National Campus and Community Radio Association selected “Sam Returns to History Maker” as their top radio documentary of the year at their Community Radio Awards!
In some ways, it’s a funny choice; “Sam Returns to History Maker” is a strange documentary. Here’s the story of how we made it.
Last year Gordon Katic and I (Sam Fenn) decided to make a documentary about some shifting demographics in British Columbian life. Less and less young people, particularly in Vancouver, are calling themselves “Christians” these days. (I am personally a lapsed charismatic Christian and an adult).
So we decided that it would be a good gimmick for a radio piece if I met with some devout teenagers to discuss their faith and their future.
We found these kids at a weekend-long Christian youth conference in Chilliwack called History Maker. So the documentary asks if events like History Maker keep young people in the flock? Or will these kids end up being seduced into biting the apple of modernity? (See what I did there)?
The real strength of “Sam Returns to History Maker,” I think, is that it lets listeners spend an hour with a very interesting group of people. People who are, on the one hand, outwardly antipathetic to modern secularism and on the other hand, completely a part of it. (See the moment where a young woman prays for God’s advice whether to minister to people in A&W, Starbucks or McDonald’s)! The documentary also features a dubious sex education Q and A, a healing ceremony and lots of Christian rock music. It’s a look at an important subculture at their most jubilant and confident in spite of the trends.
If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, check it out. And thanks so much to all of the volunteers who helped produce this. Also, obviously thanks to the NCRA judges.
Produced by: Chirag Mahajan, Sam Fenn, Gordon Katic
Production assistance: Byrce Doersam and Melati Kaye
Research: Eric Bing, Kamil Somaratne, Julian Law Marion Benkaiouche, Rebekah Parker, and Sophie Comyn
Special thanks: UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, the Alma Mater Society, and Kathryn Gretsinger (CBC).