True/False began as a foolhardy lark back in 2003, an exercise in youthful exuberance. We figured that our downtown could use a festival linking venues like an old-time movie palace, a vintage vaudeville theater, and our small storefront cinema. We couldn’t have foreseen the significance and responsibilities the fest would accrue. If we had, our dauntless souls would have no doubt been daunted.
In time, we learned that T/F could play a role in encouraging and congealing a community of nonfiction filmmakers around the world interested in making innovative work. We witnessed the fest becoming a focal point for a wide variety of creative energies in art and music.
But the most astonishing aspect has been watching our fellow mid-Missourians step in, lift a hammer (real or figurative), and build some facet of the fest to their dream specifications. We may have mapped out the house and poured the concrete, but each year we’ll turn a corner and discover a new room, or a skylight that wasn’t there before.
In our tenth year, we salute those with the devil-may-care DIY spirit that has made True/False so much more than we ever imagined. In T/F’s 2013 poster “The Collective Architecture of the Impossible,” a neighborhood rises up, with one idiosyncratic structure perched atop another. This is how the festival has developed—the blueprints we drew attracting more and more layers, transforming our doodled sketch into a full-blown painting.
We are deeply indebted to two communities: Columbia, Missouri, the hardest working town in the U.S. (or at least that’s what some magazine said), where dozens of people come home from their day job and contribute to making the fest run. And to an idealistic, loosely knit network of filmmakers dedicated to pushing nonfiction forward. We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of both. Happy tenth year, everyone, and thanks for making the impossible a living, breathing thing that we all can share together. Whether it’s the shared pleasures of a darkened cinema, parading through the downtown streets en masse, or huddled together debating ideas late into the night, True/False is and will always be a collective structure.
Here’s to more architects,
Co-conspirators Paul Sturtz and David Wilson