‘The Look of Silence’ is the 2015 True Life Fund Film

We are proud to announce Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence as this year’s recipient of the True Life Fund.



The True Life Fund offers support to a film’s subjects in appreciation of their choice to share their stories with audiences. The Look of Silence‘s subject, Adi Rukun, bravely challenged Indonesia’s collective silence by speaking out about the atrocities committed against his family during the Indonesian genocide that took place during 1965 and 1966. His steady, calm confronting of men responsible for the death of his brother stands as an exemplary display of bravery. This act of courage has forced his family to relocate in order to avoid backlash. Funds raised through the True Life Fund will assist Adi and his family in their relocation process.



Adi Rukun in The Look of Silence


The Look of Silence is the companion film to The Act of Killing (T/F 2013) which will also screen at this year’s Fest in its extended director’s cut. Together, the two films complete an incredible eleven-year project exploring the Indonesian genocide and the horrifying shadow it continues to cast over that nation’s culture and politics. Unlike other mass killings, the perpetrators of Indonesia’s anti-communist purges remain part of the power structure with their crimes officially excused or even celebrated, making Oppenheimer’s present tense investigation indispensable. These two films bring energetic innovation and flawless craft to this stunningly under-reported story.



Image from The Look of Silence


Director Joshua Oppenheimer will be in-person at all screenings. We’re also working to bring Adi to Columbia, but, due to the film’s highly charged content, his international travel is being curtailed and he may not be able to leave Indonesia.

We’d like to thank The Crossing, a local Columbia church, for their continued partnership. The Crossing will be sponsoring the True Life Fund for the eighth time this year. The Fund itself is comprised of thousands of small, individual gifts, matched through a grant from the Bertha Foundation.  We hope to raise more than $20,000 for Adi and his family.

The Look of Silence is the ninth True Life Fund film. Last year, Cynthia Hill’s Private Violence received the True Life Fund. The fund was split between domestic violence survivor Deanna Walters and advocate Kit Gruelle.



Posted January 19, 2015

It’s Time: True/False 2015

It’s Time: True/False 2015 is coming March 5-8!

See a short teaser for this year’s prefilm intros, directed by Jarred Alterman.

And check out the T/F 2015 poster, designed by artist Erik Buckham with an illustration by Akiko Stehrenberger.



We’ve announced the complete lineup of T/F 2015 Films, as well as our Art and Music programs.

The 2015 True Vision Award Winner is filmmaker Adam Curtis.

The 2015 True Life Fund Film is The Look of Silence.

And our retrospective sidebar Neither/Nor will investigate Polish chimeras from the 70s, 80s and 90s with critic Ela Bittencourt.

Posted January 15, 2015

‘The Long Now’ Art Exhibit at Imago

2015 has arrived and with the new year T/F is ready to begin exploring a new idea, “The Long Now”!

This Thursday, January 8 is the opening reception for the new “The Long Now” art exhibit, featuring 14 works exploring our relationship with time selected through a jury process in partnership with Imago Gallery and Cultural Center. Imago will be hosting the show at their gallery at 1020 E. Broadway in downtown CoMo, also the future home of the T/F 2015 box office. At 7 pm Thursday, T/F’s Art Installation Coordinator and all-around production guru Camellia Cosgray will give a talk introducing the show. Refreshments will be provided.


The selected pieces are:

“Aquatic Dance” by Lampo Leong
“The Light” by Li Lin
“Window on the World” by Amy Meyer
“Icosahedron on Blue Plane” by Clint McMillen
“Avoidable collision nearing from behind.” by Ian Shelly
“Cernunnos Arabeque” by Madeleine LeMieux
“Pastpresentfuture” by Yourself
“Sketch of Scarlatti Sonata K34 (as Argo Navis)” by Kerry Hirth
“Expansion Loop with Flare” by Matt Moyer
“The” “Long” “Now” by Gabe Meyer
“Response Time” by Scott McMahon and Ahmed Salvador
“Epiphany” by Shannon Soldner
“St. Mary’s Flood Album – page 44? by Scott Patrick Myers
“Breath” by Natalie Shelly

10% of all sales will go towards the 2015 True Life Fund. Please come consider The Long Now with us.

Posted January 5, 2015

Submit Now for Gimme Truth!

Note: the Gimme Truth submission deadline has now been extended to Friday, February 27!

We are now accepting submissions for Gimme Truth! In our annual game show contestants present their 2-minute films to a panel of celebrity judges who’ll have to determine if they are 100% True or 100% False. And new for 2015, we’ve waived the submission fee. That’s right, you can now submit for free. You can win Ragtag Membership, CAT-TV Membership, Pond5 gift certificate, a Vimeo Pro account, Sunday brunch/lunch with a filmmaker and passes to T/F 2016.

You can download the submission form here. Films are due by Friday, February 20, 2015 at 5 pm.


Posted December 26, 2014

Learn All About Getting Involved with T/F at How to True/False: Volunteer Edition

Learn all about the many ways you can help create True/False 2015 at the first ever How to True/False: Volunteer Edition. This event will be held on this Tuesday, December 9 at 7 PM in Leadership Auditorium at the MU Student Center. You can come early for treats and music by Dubb Nubb. Will also be giving away T/F merch!

howtoTF_flyer (1)-page-001

Posted December 4, 2014

Columbia High School Students, Sign Up Now For the T/F Boot Camp

Know a Columbia high school student interested in independent film, documentary, innovative storytelling, journalism, art, music or community-building? Tell them to apply to the True/False Boot Camp!

The Boot Camp will introduce a select group of students to the world of True/False and provides a crash course in independent contemporary culture during the weekend of the Fest (March 4-8, 2015). It is completely free and open to all CPS high school students, regardless of background or experience. Students can focus on art, music, film, journalism or storytelling. Based on this choice, True/False will craft an amazing and intensive weekend full of inspiring films, events and meetings with a diverse crew of filmmakers, artists and musicians.

Check out the application here.

You’ll need to act soon. Applications are due Wednesday, December 10.

For more info contact your high school’s T/F advocate:
Hickman HS: Brett Kirkpatrick,
Rock Bridge HS: David Bones,
Battle HS: Daniel Gammon,
Douglass HS: Austin Miller,

Or contact the T/F Education Director, Polina Malikin:

Posted December 2, 2014

Volunteer for True/False 2015!

You can now volunteer for T/F 2015! Applications now open here!

If you are willing to make a firm commitment of your time and put in some hard work, this is the best way to experience True/False. You’ll get a sweet T-Shirt, admission to the best party of the year and a unique feeling of collective accomplishment.

If you’re new, be sure to read the “important info for new volunteers” section. And if you want to really step up and be Juggernaut (there will be cool new benefits this year) be creative and clever with your essay. We love reading these.

Posted October 31, 2014

Announcing Surprise Screenings of Laura Poitras’ ‘CITIZENFOUR’ at The Blue Note October 19

We are very excited to announce our Secret Screenings coming to The Blue Note October 19. True/False is proud to help launch CITIZENFOUR, the much-anticipated, real-life suspense story by Laura Poitras.


CITIZENFOUR reveals the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information about the NSA and global surveillance to Poitras and her reporting partner, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Snowden, who called himself CITIZENFOUR in encrypted emails with Poitras, set off global shockwaves with his revelations. As Poitras documented arguably the biggest spying revelation in history, she became part of the story herself. Poitras and Greenwald still hold hundreds of unreleased intelligence documents given to them by Snowden, putting them in continued danger of retaliation by the US government.

This film is the final work in Poitras’ trilogy documenting security and foreign policy in the post-9/11 world. Her first film in the trilogy, My Country, My Country, explored electoral politics in US-occupied Baghdad and received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. Her second, The Oath, was an intimate portrait of Abu Jandal, a former driver for Osama Bin Laden. It’s available to watch right now on Hulu. Poitras appeared with both films at T/F 2010 where she received our True Vision Award for her persistent creative advancement of nonfiction cinema.

CITIZENFOUR premieres today, October 10 at the New York Film Festival. It will play twice at The Blue Note on October 19, at 4:30 and 8:00 PM. Both screenings will feature live music from Syna So Pro and post-film Skype chats with Poitras. Tickets are available online now or in person (cash only) at the venue the day of the show.

Both screenings of CITIZENFOUR are underwritten by the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Posted October 10, 2014

T/F 2014 Panels Now Available as Videos or MP3s

T/F’s panel discussions bring together film directors, visual artists and film critics for candid conversation on the hows and whys of their crafts. Sometimes overlooked in the whirlwind of T/F weekend, we’ve now made the complete set of T/F 2014 conversations available to watch on our video page. Or if you’d like to take a panel with you on a jog or to the grocery store, click on any of the titles below to find an audio mp3 you can stream or download. All of these discussions were preserved thanks to the hard work of our media partners at Columbia Access Television.

The Critical Takedown

Nonfiction films entering the world are still plagued by two types of criticism. There’s “be nice, this topic is worthy” damnation by faint praise for films with “important” issues, and the “Where’s the context?!” stigma faced too often by more personal or artful films. How to strike a balance and what DOES creative nonfiction need from critics? Sam Adams, the editor of Criticwire engages three cranky malcontents (i.e. critics), Nick Pinkerton, Ela Bittencourt and Adam Nayman, who have all the answers.

Making Magic/Realism

T/F 2014’s visual theme of magic/realism suggested an intersection between the mundane and the fantastic. But it wasn’t until visual artists from all over the country offered their creative sparks did the theme come alive. Artist and writer Anne Thompson coaxes magic from T/F bumper director Jarred Alterman, T/F 2014 poster artist Akiko Stehrenberger, sculptor Taylor Ross, who made the interactive mechanical sculptor in the Missouri Theatre lobby, and “TransPlant” pod installation artist, Leland Drexler-Russell.

Lies My Subject Told Me

Present tense films are crafted through an agreement between filmmaker and subject, but sometimes the bond is broken. During these fragile moments, the foundation of the relationship is questioned and a new trajectory takes hold. Hot Docs director Charlotte Cook hosts Robert Greene (Actress), Maxim Pozdorovkin (The Notorious Mr. Bout), Jesse Moss (The Overnighters) for a discussion on deception.

Beyond Pretty Pictures

What was previously off limits is now possible through affordable, lightweight equipment, and low-cost DIY hacking. Increasingly light-sensitive cameras liberate filmmakers to capture nighttime scenes; miniature, waterproof cameras are cheap; skeleton crews allow subjects to feel more comfortable revealing themselves. T/F alumni Omar Mullick quizzes Linda Västrik (Forest of the Dancing Spirits), Ewan McNicol (Uncertain), and Victor Kossakovsky (Demonstration) on how they harness technology to tell better stories.

Place is the Space

Nonfiction filmmakers locate vivid places and people whose stories jump off the screen – then they sift and winnow to find the soul of the place. True/False mascot Beadie Finzi chats with Tracy Droz Tragos (Rich Hill), Sherief Elkatsha (Cairo Drive), and Mark Levinson (Particle Fever) who reveal how they cast films where settings don’t act as backdrops but as stars in their own right.

Africa is Not a Country

To a Western mind, Africa may appear as a slideshow of slums, safaris, refugees, and marathon runners. In a clutch of T/F 2014 films, though, outsider filmmakers avoid shopworn stereotypes to tell distinctive stories from a diverse continent. T/F ringleader Ingrid Kopp asks Tobias Janson (Concerning Violence), Rachel Boynton (Big Men), and Joe Callander (Life After Death) how they circumvented the pitfalls.

Posted October 7, 2014

Surprise T/F Screening at The Blue Note Sunday, October 19

We are thrilled to announce a first-of-its-kind, surprise T/F screening Sunday, October 19 at The Blue Note. We’ll be showing two screenings of a brand new documentary film by a T/F alumnus, giving you a unique opportunity to see an important new work ahead of the rest of the world! We can’t tell you the title just yet, but will reveal it sometime in October.

What we can tell you is that like all T/F screenings, there will be live music. Syna So Pro has been a crowd favorite at the last couple installments of T/F, and will be sharing her experimental and infectious.

Tickets for both the 4:30 and 8:00 PM Surprise Screenings are on sale now through the T/F website, HERE.

If you’ve already purchased a Super Circle pass for T/F 2015, you are entitled to a ticket to one of the two screenings. Once we determine the exact times, we’ll ask you to let us know which screening you would prefer. If you want to pick up a T/F 2015 Super Circle pass, they are on sale here.

These screenings are presented with support from the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.

We’ll have more details real soon!

Posted September 25, 2014
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