IFC 2004 – 30 years of international radio documentaries in a CD box! @ Project Group


30 years of international radio documentaries in a CD box!

For more information about the CD box and its availability, please write to:
Laurent Marceau : marceau@ebu.ch

30 years of International Feature Conference, it had to be celebrated. Not with pump and circumstance, but with a useful present the international community of radio documentary makers was looking for since years. And now it is here! Thanks to the EBU, in the person of Laurent Marceau, who offered the funds and logistic help to realize the project.

The EBU Radio Documentary Project Group asked Edwin Brys to take care of the research and the compilation. Edwin dived into the feature history back to 1966 and handpicked some 50 excerpts of documentaries from Europe, Australia, North America, and even Asia.

The result : 6 CD’s, 480 minutes of exciting and/or intriguing radio moments, including english translation and some background literature. Edwin wrote an introduction about his choices, Peter Leonhard Braun looks back on the genesis of the IFC and Dr. Virginia Madsen of the University of NSW in Sydney wrote an essay on the evolution of radio feature throughout the last 30 years. The box is a non commercial project.

For more information about the CD box and its availability, please write to:
Laurent Marceau : marceau@ebu.ch

What’s in the box ? Click here for complete list of works


From “Obvious, it was so obvious! ” (Laurent Marceau, EBU)

/…/The bottom line was and still is crystal clear. We had to do something about “it” – it being the 30th edition of the International Feature Conference in Lucerne, at the invitation of DRS. To mark the anniversary of this world-renowned event, the idea of producing a 6-CD box set featuring excerpts of some of the best radio documentaries was a given.
And here it is, simply beautiful, and truly a team effort./…/
The Feature genre has a bright future, be it on traditional platforms or new ones ( web/digital). There will always be a hunger for great radio documentaries among listeners. Please feel free to have as many nibbles as you want from this CD box set – it is very good for you. Long live radio Features!” …for complete text click here


From ” About boxes and what can be hidden in them” (Edwin Brys)

/…/”This box – like a lightweight, compact bundle that a radio explorer could tuck into his luggage – is not only a drawer full of memories, but it is also a road map with sign posts, milestones, and trails to be explored in the future. But I hope it will also serve as a training tool. I would even say that this box is more intended for the creators of tomorrow than the nostalgic of yesteryear. This is the best homage we can pay to all those who have been the inspiration of creative radio in Europe and beyond./…/ A few colleagues whispered to me: tread carefully; you’re bound to make enemies of all those who don’t make it into the box of treasures! Indeed, that may be true. We are limited for time and space, so we need to make a choice. By what criteria? My own inscrutable ones! Some are my own personal favourites, of course – that’s my prerogative since I was given carte blanche! Champions of the genre, merely because of the many prizes they’ve won? No: the IFC isn’t a contest. But, of course, just because they are very good.

My main aim was to present a varied digest taking into account the characters of the creators, revealing subject matter, formats, styles, new trends, etc./…/

The notion of something disturbing is like a common theme running through these 50 excerpts. In society, culture, politics, the environment, religion, the family, or simply for the individual. You need only glance through the index on this box to realize this. And these scenes, these dialogues, these portraits, these combats and these defeats take place in Budapest, Chicago, Berlin, London, Antwerp, Seoul, Helsinki or Vienna, or in remote corners of Poland, Croatia, Scotland, or France.

And in the background this anthology offers us historical insight into many of the upheavals to have occurred in previous decades as experienced day by day by the citizens./…/” …for complete text click here


From “The Genenis of the IFC” (Peter Leonhard Braun)

/…/”The radio doc masterpieces must be mentioned – this string of pearls which after 30 years became a precious necklace to be worn by all of us. Who produced them, to whom do they belong does not matter, it is common property. There we touch the secret of the inner identity of the feature world, its continuous readiness to offer armed resistance to all the opposing forces. Never in all these 30 years have I seen a pleasant landscape or sweet conditions for the growth of feature. It was always the wind into the face, always. Stars of the trade came up, shining for years, then faded away and new ones began to sparkle. Leading departments arose, suns of energy for years, then fading away and new ones became red-hot. It was coming and going, a fine documentary world in permanent transition./…/

Time now for the man in the balloon to drop the birthday wish. Feature as the real illegitimate child of radio, probably the only one, grew up, expanded and up to now tackled all challenges of death. I remind this radio doc of its first virtue: flexibility, versatility, adaptability. And I wish for it to fortify its capability of change. You have to become permanently new not to become old.

Dear Friends,
Herewith I open the permanent list of wishes, warnings, recommendations, recipes, strategies. You are invited, each of you, to extend it through the years. Feature is necessary.” …for complete text click here


From ” Thirthy Years of the International Radio Feature ” (Virginia Madsen)

/…/”This is the radio to be discovered in this “other” less well-lit universe, and sampled here in this unique collection of six CDs, allowing the curious listener and the seasoned practitioner alike to experience something of 30 Years of International Radio Feature-making history. Taken as a whole, this work is a revelation not only in terms of radio’s development and expression but also in terms of media history and cultural expression more generally.

This collection here is truly a landmark: even within institutionalized and state organized public broadcasting systems, the documentation of the medium and its forms barely exists, a history of amnesia prevails. In this context, this collection represents a rare attempt to deal with an idea of radio – and that’s what makes it remarkable. Why? Because, here is an international selection of work, spanning the period after radio’s so-called “golden years” to the present, which reveals that rather than dying as a complex and sophisticated medium post-TV (to emerge as the format driven, pressed-for-time medium with which we are familiar), a certain kind of radio – and a radio of the auteur – was able to carve out a space for itself. And against all expectations, this emergent radio form constituted (and continues to do so) a renaissance in thought and practice in terms of what the medium could still be, and offer the listener.” …for complete text click here



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