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Freeform or Death – A WFMU documentary

Radio Survivor readers should already be aware of the love we express for New Jersey’s non-commercial freeform radio powerhouse WFMU. Although the station may not be as popular or highly rated as a top commercial station, it has many admiring listeners, who themselves are productive and creative. Filmmaker Tim Smith is one such fan, who has started a Kickstarter to fund the completion of a documentary about WFMU called Freeform or Death.

Smith recently edited Morgan Spurlock’s recent Comic-Con documentary and is also producing Spurlock’s Failure Club web series. Freeform or Death is Smith’s directorial debut.

The film aims to document the struggle of keeping a non-commercial, listener-supported station on the air without the sort of corporate funding that most public stations have come to rely upon. At the center of this story is station manager Ken Freedman who says in the trailer that he’s “spent the last twenty-five years just trying to keep this radio station alive.”

The Kickstarter effort is already off to a strong start, with more than 60% of its $50,000 goal pledged only four days in. It’s my hope that the completion of a film like this will not only celebrate the grit it takes to keep a freeform station on the air, but expose a wider audience to this kind of radio.


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