Six years ago, the True/False Film Festival founded the True Life Fund, a philanthropic effort that raises money and awareness for the subjects of a different nonfiction film each year. Presented in partnership with The Crossing and with media support from KOMU, we’re delighted to announce that this year’s True Life Fund film is Bully. This remarkable film chronicles a year in the life of five students and their families, who courageously share their experiences with bullying in schools. The film goes into its subjects’ homes, follows them to town-hall meetings, meetings with principals, and even rides along on bus routes (where much of the worst violence occurs) in order to provide an unsparing look at the urgent and deep societal problem of bullying in schools.
This year, The Bertha Foundation, whose mission is to affect positive change in the world through the combined efforts of activist lawyers, storytellers, and social and political entrepreneurs, has pledged to match up to $15,000 of the funds raised by the True Life Fund. Support for the Fund comes from outreach within the Columbia community and generous donations from True/False attendees. This combined effort seeks to raise more than $30,000 for the subjects of Bully.
Directed and produced by by Sundance and Emmy–award winner Lee Hirsch, Bully goes undercover in American schools to reveal the horrors of bullying and the effects it has on kids and families. The film puts a personal face on this systemic problem, which manifests itself in the lives of 13 million children and their families each year. “The young heroes and heroines in our film inspire audiences and compel them to take a stand,” Hirsch said. “The opportunity to honor these brave kids and give back is a true blessing. I cannot wait for the audiences of True/False to experience Bully and meet these amazing kids and families.”
The money raised by the fund will go to the three main characters of
the film, Alex, Kelby, and Ja’Meya, as well as two families, the Longs
and the Smalleys, whose sons took their own lives after being bullied.
Each year, the True Life Fund seeks to “demonstrate that documentaries create change” by offering “tangible and meaningful assistance to the subjects” of one film at the True/False Film Fest. It’s an effort True/False co-founder David Wilson says he is “immensely proud of.”
Donations to the fund can be made online by visiting the True Life Fund page.