Arts & Culture

TIFF 2019

Every year the Toronto International Film Festival puts a spotlight on movies of all genres and budgets, launching a few films into award front runners. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice joins Idaho Matters to talk about his experience at this year’s festival.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters.


Morning Edition host George Prentice reports on the multiple world premieres from the 2019 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, including the much-anticipated "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" starring Tom Hanks, and "Just Mercy," starring Michael B. Jordan. The two films are among the more than 300 movies being showcased at this year's TIFF, which is expected to attract nearly 500,000 attendees.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images


The National Endowment for the Humanities was founded in 1965 by Congress. There are 56 humanities councils around the country, including here in Idaho. We talk with Idaho Humanities Council Executive Director David Pettyjohn about their public event with 2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco Sept. 19.


Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

For the last three years, 208 Comedy Fest has brought a diverse array of nationally renowned comics to elevate the quality of comedy in the Treasure Valley. Thursday-Sunday, more than 60 comics will perform at six venues across downtown Boise. Co-founder Dylan Hass and Emma Arnold tell us what makes the festival unique in a small — but growing — comedy scene. 

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio


Before there were history books documenting our past, there were stories told around a campfire. In Boise, the Campfire Theatre Festival is taking this idea and applying it to playwriting. We talk with organizers of the three-day event, which takes place this Friday-Sunday.

Dan Bailey / Rusch Academy

Earlier this summer, three dozen cyclists huddle together at a ranch between Ketchum and Mackay. They range from newcomers to pros, and they’ve come to Idaho from as far as Singapore, Hawaii and the Netherlands.  

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was created by Congress in 1965. The organization doles out grants to arts groups across the country, including in Idaho. Over the past five years the NEA has awarded more than two million dollars to schools and organizations in Idaho – groups like Ballet Idaho, Idaho Writers Guild and the Sun Valley Film Festival. The head of the NEA stops by Idaho Matters for a chat.

TIFF 2019

It's been a banner year in film. From the Avengers to the Lion King, the movies have been non-stop. George Prentice takes a look back at the year in film. He'll also look forward, with a preview of the Toronto Film Festival.

Coming Soon: The Nebulous

Aug 27, 2019

Coming soon — subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Or Hiltch / Flickr

We’ll meet the director of a critically acclaimed documentary telling the story of an inexperienced group of climbers reaching the peak of one of the planet’s highest mountains to honor their fathers.

via Twitter

Ketchum native A.J. Eaton is the director of "David Crosby: Remember My Name," one of the big hits to emerge from this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film was snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics and is rolling out this week across North America, picking up steam nationally. He's back in Idaho this week to celebrate his success with friends and family.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

On Monday, Boise Contemporary Theater's founding Artistic Director Matthew Cameron Clark sent a scathing letter criticizing the nonprofit's board of trustees. The letter was a reaction to his firing earlier this summer. We speak with Clark to hear more about the controversy, and then get analysis from Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice. Be sure to listen to his interview earlier this week with Will Fowler, the chairman of BCT's  Board of Trustees. 

Don Harder / Flickr

The Western Idaho Fair has been around since 1897. It has everything from corn dogs to elephant ears to animals to rides to games. This week the fair will bring in thousands of visitors looking to have some late summer fun. Boise State Public Radio’s Laramie Lavala and Kelsey Thomson take us there with an audio postcard.

Boy Scouts of America

Wyoming is known as the Equality State. So it’s fitting that earlier this year one of its Boy Scout Troops was amongst the first in the country to induct girls. The national organization changed its policy in February to be more inclusive. Since then, Troop 221 in Cheyenne has already seen its female scout number double. Maggie Mullen caught up with some of those scouts at their recent badge ceremony.


The Boise Comic Arts Festival is back this month for its 7th year. This year the Boise Public Library and its Friends are bringing in 30 of the nation's top comics creators. That includes the author of "Phoebe and her Unicorn." The event covers everything from comics journalism to how to draw dinosaurs. Idaho Matters sketches in the details.

Commemorative Air Force

You may have noticed a couple of really big planes flying over the Treasure Valley this week. The World War II B-17 and B-25 bombers were brought to Nampa by the Commemorative Air Force. Both planes flew in World War II and are pieces of living history. The Commemorative Air Force is a nonprofit that flies planes like these around the country. They not only keep them flying, but let people see, touch and fly in a little bit of history.

Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio

What do you do when you're out in the field for a podcast episode and a kitten comes mewing up to you in the middle of the road? Drop everything and take care of said kitten, right? Right?!

Sonya Rosario Productions

What happens when you take a Victorian sofa on a road trip to find out how mothers impact the lives of their daughters? You get the movie “The Sofa Diaries,”showing next month at the Flicks in Boise. Filmmaker Sonya Rosario and her mother sat on that couch to talk and it inspired her to take the sofa to other mothers and daughters. She joins us on Idaho Matters.

Sun Valley Film Festival

When most people think of the Sun Valley Film Festival, they probably think of top drawer movies and film stars visiting Idaho in the winter. But this year, the festival is extending its reach to other parts of the calendar. Joining us is SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan and Laura Mehlhaff who has recently transitioned to head the Sun Valley Film Initiative.

Luke Martin

One day a cartoonist, his wife and their kids decided to move from Chicago to ... anywhere else. After a year and a half, they chose to relocate in Boise. Last August, that cartoonist, Luke Martin, came on Idaho Matters to talk about how he had turned his Idaho experiences into a comic strip called “I’m New Here.” Now he has a new children’s book to show his appreciation for his family’s new home community. It’s called “Boy Sees Beautiful.”

idaho shakespeare festival

This summer, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is presenting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, with a twist. Portraying history’s most famous emperor is veteran actress Carole Healey. Joining Carole on Idaho Matters is Sara Bruner, who audiences will know from her countless performances with the festival, but this season is the director of Julius Caesar and Taming of the Shrew.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A new documentary looks at One Stone, a student-led high school in Boise. The progressive school was founded in 2008 and is pushing the boundaries of student-empowered learning. The film was created by Jon Long, who has produced and directed films for PBS and National Geographic. 

Scott Burkhardt / via Kickstarter

The 1 Potato screenwriter award is given every year at the Sun Valley Film Festival. This year's winner is screenwriter Scott Burkhardt, who wrote "Girls Are Strong Here." It's the story of a Syrian refugee whose faith is tested when an American teen and her mother are stranded at his car repair shop overnight. Guest host George Prentice speaks with Burkhardt, producer Celeste Matkika and one of the film's stars, Adrian Tafesh. 

Boise Goathead Fest

Have your bike tires ever fallen victim to the pesky goathead weed? If so, you’re not alone and the Boise bicycle community is coming together to do something about it. Join our guest host George Prentice and Jimmy Halliburton as they talk all-things Goathead Fest.

Morrison Center

"Les Miserables" is the world’s longest-running musical. It's estimated that it has been seen by 130 million people in 44 countries. A newly conceived production is touring the United States and will be on the Morrison Center stage in Boise July 30-Aug. 4. We talk with Joshua Grosso, who portrays Marius.