How often does anything truly live up to expectations? How common is it for our false hopes to be dashed by too much hype? What a wonder to experience a weekend that went so far beyond our imaginings. We were beyond dazzled by the expert organization, warm reception and friendly audiences. True/False reminded me what our film community actually feels like and why I love it so much.
If there was one festival that I would recommend to anyone involved or interested in documentary filmmaking, it would be True/False. The whole town is alive with passionate debate about documentaries, the films they show are really well chosen and [they] were brilliant hosts.
By far the most intelligent and enjoyable festival of film I have been to. The range of films showed a real imagination in programming, and the festival managed to attract an extraordinary range of top-class filmmaking from around the world. And all this happened in a tiny town in the middle of America which was completely involved in the festival — and also gave fantastic parties. It's a brilliant idea for a festival, completely unique, and I loved it.
True/False was without question the best film festival experience I have had in recent memory. You have restored my faith in the cause. It was unforgettable, joyous and inspiring.
TF represented what I wish life was like everyday. Docs, people who make them, people who love them, parades, drinking, beautiful women, no bed times, accordion-playing gorillas. True/False was not only the best festival I've ever been to, but one of the finest moments of my life.
I am in awe of what you have built in Columbia. I have been to many festivals around the world, but I have never witnessed the unique combination of community spirit, excited audiences, daring programming and all-around fatastic atmosphere that you have fostered around T/F.
The last fifteen minutes of The Island President moved me more than I have ever been while watching a movie. It made me aware of possibilities I wouldn't have known about otherwise, as did the whole festival's group of international directors, most of whom I got to talk to.
I could not have asked for a more intimate, smart, meaningful experience.
I never thought I was creative, or could be, until I had a conversation with Jason Tibbet and Elizabeth Mims, who directed Only The Young. I just feel like the whole experience of T/F was empowering for me.
True/False represents the best of the independent doc festivals. It buzzes with excitement and passion. The crowds that screen the films are electric, the chance to hang out with your fellow film makers in such a setting is a joy.
T/F surpassed all hype and expectations -- amazing how you guys have managed to retain a genuine diy/punk rock vibe, and keep everything running smoothly with the utmost professionalism.
Thank you for the most profound and rewarding experience of my professional life.
An incredible festival experience. True/False really is one of the best festivals I have ever been to. You guys put on such a great show.
That you bring in such wonderful films and filmmakers, yet make certain that the week stays purely rooted in the principle of having a good time and being part of an amazing film community, this takes all the pressure away, and for a first-timer like myself, it couldn't have been more rejuvenating... I really honestly can't imagine a better place for a new filmmaker to bring his or her first movie - the energy I had coming into Columbia and the energy I had coming out couldn't have been more different.
Being part of the community that creates extraordinary places out of everyday Columbia is an experience I look forward to each year.
My love for True/False runs deep - from the smart programming, passionate audiences, inspired buskers, and fabulous venues. Screening at the Missouri after the Free Agent Brass Band performed was one of my great joys of 2010.
For any documentarian, True/False is nirvana. You walk down the street of Columbia Missouri — and you are stopped by students and secretaries, college professors and construction workers, and they all want to talk to you about your film, the intricacies of its subject and the aesthetic choices made! This is the way it's supposed to be and never is: the town lives and breathes docs. When I went to True/False, I remembered what I sometimes forget: the unalloyed joy of making and watching docs.
For all of us True/False was a real revelation: knowledgeable, appreciative audiences and an almost instant sense of community among the filmmakers.... The whole festival was marked by a thoughtful, hand-crafted feeling that cut right to the genuine.
Just a damn gem. A little utopia. You have made something fantastic. It has a great spirit, inspired and eclectic programming, audiences that are super excited to see movies and an all star cast of out-of-town filmmakers.
True/False is one of the smartest and most original festivals in the U.S. More curated than programmed, it reminds me of a young Rotterdam Film Festival.
Over the past few years, True/False has come to occupy an unshakable place in the hearts of many of us who make documentaries. Few festivals are guided by truer motives and none are organized by a team of people more deeply committed to documentaries.
What summed up the 2009 T/F film festival better was that unforgettable line from Big River Man: ‘Now I have crossed over into the 4th dimension.’ An overwhelming weekend — filled with intensely passionate views and impeccable taste — that left me in emotional shambles... and totally recharged.
Three things that make True/False the best US documentary festival. First, the perfect number of films. Second, a collegial, egalitarian, non-competitive environment for all the filmmakers. Third, the most stylish hooded sweatshirt.
Thanks for inviting me to utopia. I was moved to tears on many occasions, no lie, and I honestly felt like my internal emotional barometer just got re-calibrated. The people and the place are brilliant. The details were sparkling. This whole thing is worth fighting for!
I have just returned home from one of the important experiences I have had as a filmmaker: attending the True/False Film Fest. Without concern for premiere status or awards, True/False allows attendees to truly focus on the art and craft of documentary filmmaking. Away from the cameras and commerce, True/False is an essential place for filmmakers to come together, roll up their sleeves, and just be together as a community. A deeply democratic spirit prevails - everyone gets a place at the table, from those sweeping festival awards to new directors just making their way into the world. There is a reason why filmmakers make the trek to Columbia, leave glowing after the experience, and keep coming back. For myself, I went to True/False as a first -time filmmaker, but returned home as part of a much wider community. I can’t thank True/False enough for providing this unique and essential experience.
A real achievement — and judging by the turn out at the films, one which the town embraced with open arms. It was an honour to be associated with the True/False festival.
The more festivals I attend, the more my (already) intense love and appreciation of True/False grows. When people ask why I love it so much, I say "because it's a festival, in the truest sense of the word. It's a celebration... of filmmaking, of music, of let's-get-togetherness. It's full of revelry, feasting, merrymaking, good conversation, provocation, significance and fun."
True/False has the energy and excitement that Telluride and TED had in their early days.
Definitely my best festival experience ever. Keep in mind that we Swedes are famous for not using big words.
I cannot express how much fun, inspiration, astonishment and joy I experienced in Columbia. I can honestly say it was one of the most positively powerful and potent weeks I have had in a long time.
I love all of the quirks that make it really feel like a FESTIVAL rather than just a group of screenings – the music and the involvement of the town and the photo booth at the secret party, and ... You have found a way to inject that spirit into the DNA of the entire festival, so that, it seemed like every volunteer, and the design of every document and every Q&A had that same spirit of quality and whimsy and just unpretentious appreciation of people and stories and life. Our screening was amazing — an engaged audience that combined the university doc-people, with regular NASCAR folks and kids and other filmmakers. I had to go out and call our team to tell them about how people were laughing and groaning and gasping at all of the right parts — I wish everyone who worked on it could have been there to see it.
We figured out that you are secretly brainwashing us, in preparation for your tenth anniversary whereupon you will send out the balloon signal and wherever your past attendees are, the chip will kick in and we will do whatever you have programmed us to.
Without a doubt True/False is my favorite film festival ever anywhere. The high quality of the films, the sold out shows — screening after screening filled with an audience that is hungry for intelligent work, the high quality of musicians performing before each screening, and busking on the street. You kind of swear they put ecstasy in the town water or something.
Your festival was a revelation. Thank you from the bottom of my normally skeptical docmaker's dark heart for showing me that docs remain inspirational, fun and something people will go and watch in a theater.
I have now returned to Denmark from what I would consider the best film festival ever.... I have to get back to True/False!
I loved every minute of True/False — the laidback and funky atmosphere, the eclectic films and filmmakers, the intelligent and genuine audiences, the energetic volunteers, and the imaginative freebies that I'm still enjoying many months afterwards. All I want to do now is make another film that gets me invited back.
The magical festival and T/F weekend will feed forever the desire to keep going in my quixotic film-creation-way-of-life.
Just got back from a few festivals and was thinking about True/False. Your festival has really emerged as the favorite — nothing so far has really measured up. So much care went into the True/False Film Festival. Every detail was thoughtfully crafted and there was a camaraderie to the festival that really stood out to me — people were comparing it to the early days of Telluride. This camaraderie fostered great conversations, many with filmmakers whose work I admired. It was quite an intimate experience.
A filmmaker utopia! I am sad I've had to leave the Midwestern love behind.
When a friend called and said, "You want to go to Missouri with me?" I was like, "Uh...I don't know...do I?" But who knew that such a cool, fun, artistic and intelligent place existed? I loved Columbia, I loved the festival, I fully intend on finding my way back there next year.
Filmmakers have gotten the word that T/F is an important and truly communal experience — so many films were here straight from Sundance.
It would be hard to find a college town with a more enthusiastic festival audience. Every film at True/False is presented personally by the filmmakers. Along with the quality of the programming, this is one of the reasons T/F is emerging as a destination festival.
A true cultural treasure for the city that brings creative people from around the globe to Columbia. Educationally, culturally, and as a source of entertainment, it is the brightest star on the bright cultural landscape of Columbia, Missouri.
This is the smallest town, the biggest theater and the most raucous audience I've seen.
I have been to many festivals over the years and I think what best defines True/False is the generosity and enthusiasm of the audience and their appetite for good films. I especially liked the theme of True/False which acknowledges the evolution and transitions taking place in documentary. The festival does not seek to define or restrict documentaries — but rather celebrate them in all their form and finery.
Making any film is a loving, grueling and often lonely adventure... But it's experiences like being surrounded by hundreds of hungry film lovers in the grand, classic Missouri Theatre or sitting around a pizza till two in the morning with a group of fellow nutjobs who also put everything they had (and a little they didn't) on the line to tell a story they believed in, that makes it all worthwhile.
My friends in SF couldn't believe I saw movies before they did (Lost Boys of Sudan, The Yes Men). That was a first. Even more important, of course, is that each film made an impact. I've even signed up to volunteer as a tutor for refugees because of Lost Boys.
A brilliant festival. You rounded up an exceptional program and lured a very fine group of people to hang out with. It was all low-key and unpretentious, which is how it ought to be.