Events

Watch ‘The Interrupters’ and a Campfire Story From Steve James

One of the most unforgettable films ever to screen at True/False was our 2011 True Life Fund selection, The Interrupters. Steve James’s documentary introduced us to violence interrupters working in the troubled streets of Chicago. These interrupters are part of a program created by epidemiologist Gary Slutkin called Ceasefire (now renamed Cure Violence), based on the thesis that violence should be approached like an infectious disease, where the goal is to prevent each individual case of transmission.

The film’s deep humanism comes from the life stories of the violence interrupters themselves: Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra. All former gang members, the interrupters don’t shy away from their violent pasts, but instead utilize their reputations and gained knowledge to help their communities. We watch as they courageously interject themselves into intense situations, speaking blunt truths and directly confronting the drive for revenge or respect, passions that so frequently lead to acts of violence.

The 114 minute cut of The Interrupters is available to watch for free online through the PBS series Frontline.

The Interrupters was inspired by co-producer Alex Kotlowitz’s 2008 New York Times Magazine article “Blocking the Transmission of Violence”. Director Steve James was moved by this piece because of his personal connection to Curtis Gates, who was senselessly killed in a 2001 shooting. Curtis was the older brother of William Gates, one of the principle subjects of James’s 1994 film Hoop Dreams. Universally recognized as a documentary masterpiece, Hoop Dreams follows two basketball prodigies from poor neighborhoods in Chicago who dream of achieving fame and fortune through careers in the NBA. You can watch this essential film for free streaming online through Hulu.

Steve James returned to T/F this year to participate in our annual event Campfire Stories, an intimate gathering where filmmakers share tales about compelling scenes that didn’t make it into their films. In the clip below, James recounts an incident at a gas station which illustrates the violence interrupters problematic relationship with the police. Campfire Stories was captured on video by our friends at Columbia Access Television.

Posted September 3, 2013

Thank You Boone Dawdlers!

For the fourth year in a row, the Boone Dawdle, our summer excursion and fundraiser, was a rollicking good time. We want to send a hearty thank you to everyone that made August 17, 2013 a day to remember. Thank you to the dawdlers of all kinds: riders, party-goers, sponsors, musicians, filmmakers, guests, volunteers and staff.

A legion of volunteers once again pitched in with their time and talents. Among them were our photo team, Stephen Bybee, Kevin Dingman and Ryan Henriksen. We’ll be looking back through the images they captured. If you want to see even more pics of the Dawdle, check out their Facebook photo albums here, here and here.

Things got underway on Saturday afternoon with some important assistance from our friends at Walt’s Bicycle, Fitness and Wilderness. They offered all of the riders a tune-up before our departure.

photo by Kevin Dingman

 

After everyone signed up, we struck off westward down the trail for a ride across Boone County. Our meandering 16-mile trip eventually took us from Columbia to Les Bourgeois outside Rocheport.

photo by Kevin Dingman

 

True/False wouldn’t feel like True/False without music and the spirited buskers who create it. Popping up here and there among the trees were Dubb Nubb, Ruth Acuff, The Flood Brothers, Googolplexia, Lizzie Wright Super Spaceship and The Onions. Also contributing a cheerful noise were the Branson-based performers the Lennon Brothers.

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Kevin Dingman

photo by Ryan Henriksen

 

Other pleasant interruptions in our journey through the woods included games, a trivia contest, an advice machine, a lunar explorer photo cut-out and snacks and drinks courtesy of our culinary contributors.

photo by Stephen Bybee

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Kevin Dingman

 

We also got our first chance to meet our special guest Christopher Carson, the star of the evening’s film, Lunarcy! Christopher intends to be the first human being to live his life on the moon. He shared his bold vision for lunar colonization with characteristic gusto and wit.

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen

 

At the end of the long, fun-filled trip, we faced the final daunting hill. A little encouragement was definitely in order, and cheerleaders from Rock Bridge, Hickman and Battle High Schools were kind enough to oblige.

photo by Stephen Bybee

photo by Ryan Henriksen

 

Waiting for us in Rocheport was a sumptuous spread prepared by our friends Chelsea, Josh and Curtis and the rest of the amazing people at Les Bourgeois Winery. After grabbing some food and drink, we found seats, relaxed and hung-out on the beautiful limestone bluff overlooking the Missouri River.

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Kevin Dingman

photo by Stephen Bybee

 

Next, we were treated to a concert by Yes, Ma’am. The group joined us all the way from the streets of the Big Easy to share their authentic blend of gritty country, pounding blues and old fashioned rock-in-roll.

photo by Ryan Henriksen

 

And before the film began, the T/F production crew treated us to a magnificent fireworks display.

photo by Kevin Dingman

 

The 2013 Boone Dawdle film was Lunarcy! Simon Ennis’s hilarious and inspiring documentary debut introduces us to a series of passionate dreamers who have built lives around the moon and its place in human destiny. After we watched the film out under the heavens, Simon and the subject Christopher Carson brought our evening to fitting conclusion with a charming and earnest Q and A.

photo by Kevin Dingman

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen

 

Thank you again to everyone mentioned above. As inspiring as what happened in these photographs was, we assure you what went on behind the scenes was even more remarkable. Our tech team was up working late the night before, transforming the bluffs into an outdoor cinema. Volunteers hauled water and gear into the middle of nowhere, loaded countless bikes into trucks for the trip back to CoMo and stayed up past 2 am cleaning up the party. Our sherpa team stepped up in a big way, hauling bikes up the hill for hours. First Student provided bus transportation to get everyone back home for the night. And our dedicated staff put in the long hours at the Lab, making all of the details shine.

And, of course, our crazy schemes wouldn’t amount to anything without our sponsors. This year’s Dawdle was made possible by generous support of Delta Systems, Walt’s Bicycle, Fitness and Wilderness, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Les Bourgeois Vineyards, 102.3 BXR, The Columbia Daily Tribune and the Courtyard Marriott Columbia.

Together we can accomplish incredible things. Please remember, the Stars Are Ours!

 

Posted August 26, 2013

‘Never Not Working: Shorts on Labor from True/False’ this Wednesday at DCTV in NYC

This Wednesday, August 28th True/False is partnering with the Downtown Community Television Center and Filmwax to present Never Not Working: Shorts on Labor from True/False. This free program (RSVP for tickets) will be held at DCTV on Lafayette Street in New York City.

In anticipation of Labor Day, we’ll be screening short documentaries depicting labor as an inevitable part of our lives, whether enjoyable and fulfilling, difficult and necessary, and/or both. These five selections were culled from a decade of our programming by T/F shorts programmer Karen Cirillo and T/F co-director Paul Sturtz, both of whom will be in attendance. They’ll be joined by Musa Syeed and Yoni Brook of A Son’s Sacrifice and Marcelo de Oliveira, sound designer of The Breadmakers, for a post-screening Q and A.

The films in this program are:

Tina Delivers a Goat (T/F 2013, USA, Joe Callander, 2 min)
Through taking council with a local village elder, Tina discovers the benefits of a goat, delivers the goat, says hi to mama and papa and behbeh, takes a photo, and leaves. Global generosity in all its blunt simplicity.

El Cerco (T/F 2007, Catalonia, Ricardo Íscar/Nacho Martin, 12 min)
As the fishing boats close in on the tuna, the tension escalates until the men capture their prizes.

Breadmakers (T/F 2008, UK, Yasmin Fedda, 11 min)
At a unique Edinburgh bakery, a community of workers with learning disabilities makes a variety of organic breads for daily delivery to local shops and cafés.

A Son’s Sacrifice (T/F 2007, USA, Yoni Brook, 26 min)
A young American Muslim struggles to take over his father’s halal slaughterhouse in New York City.

Il Capo (T/F 2011, Italy, Yuri Ancarani, 15 min)
A choreographed, spooky look at a marble quarry, this film features the best use of a monolith and upward pan since Kubrick’s 2001. Man, machines, nature come together in an elemental masterpiece.

To create the authentic festival atmosphere, T/F 2013 buskers Mountain Animation will be warming up the house before the lights go down. Below you’ll find a sample of the Brooklyn-based power duo performing in Union Square. They were also recently named among the seven best busking acts in NYC by the Gothamist.

New Yorkers, we hope to see you there. Remember, tickets are free, but going fast. RSVP soon if you want to join us.

 

Posted August 24, 2013

Gimme Truth! ‘Dem Bones’

One of our proudest creations is our signature game show, Gimme Truth!  Every year a panel of three filmmakers gathers in front of a rowdy crowd at The Blue Note to watch a series of short films and try to determine if they are 100% True or 100% False. The whole event is presided over by the irreplaceable master of ceremonies Johnny St. John.

Thanks to our loyal media partner CAT TV you can relive this year’s edition and play along with judges Bill Ross (Tchoupitoulas), Sergio Oksman (A Story for the Modlins) and reigning champion Heidi Ewing (Detropia). In this first clip, you’ll be evaluating the veracity of “Dem Bones” by LeeAnne Lowry and Kirsten Izzett, which explains the effects of a strange medical condition. Good Luck!

Posted August 6, 2013

Campfire Stories: Jarred Alterman on the Making of ‘Dear Valued Guests’

Campfire Stories has become an indispensable part True/False. Every year, eight filmmakers take part in this intimate little gathering. They munch on smores and share stories about that one great scene that for whatever reason just didn’t make their film.

The 2013 edition, held in the cozy Odd Fellows Lodge, kicked off with Jarred Alterman. He spoke about Dear Valued Guests, a short he co-directed with T/F co-conspirator Paul Sturtz. Guests takes us back to the strange final days of the Regency hotel, which housed countless True/False guests in downtown Columbia. With this oddly charming structure slated for demolition, a group of artists takes over the top floor for one last crazy party.

In his Campfire Story, Alterman recounts how Guests was nearly aborted, only to be rescued by a heroic if chemically enhanced maintenance worker named Rainey. Check it out in this video captured by the team from our media partner CAT TV.

Dear Valued Guests had its New York premiere as part of the Rooftop Films “Industriance: Black Out” shorts program. Here’s a short trailer.

Posted July 26, 2013

CoMo Girls Rock! Showcase Tonight at Mojo’s!

CoMo Girls Rock! is a summer camp dedicated to empowering girls ages 12-18 through creative expression, musical exploration and performance. Camp founders Luci Cook, Leola Davis and Amanda Rainey were inspired by the documentary Girls Rock! (T/F 2008) to create a local chapter of the nationwide alliance. CoMo Girls Rock!’s first ever week-long session just wrapped up yesterday, and now the campers get to show off what they’ve learned. The Girls Rock! showcase begins at 7 tonight at Mojo’s. All proceeds from the show will go towards next year’s camp, so come on out and show your support!

Posted June 15, 2013

‘Yes, Ma’am’ Music Headliners at the 2013 Boone Dawdle

The rollicking roots band Yes Ma’am took T/F 2013 by storm with their commanding performances before films and on Ninth Street.  Led by guitarist/singer Matthew Brecken, these buskers from the streets of New Orleans are clearly going places. While Brecken’s voice may be the first thing you notice, this knockabout combo of banjo, washboard, standup bass and gypsy fiddle are as thick as thieves and as tight as a tick: the perfect band to accompany the sun going down over the river at the Boone Dawdle on August 17.

See for yourself in the video below, part of Folk to Folk’s coverage of music at T/F 2013.

Tickets to the 2013 Boone Dawdle are on sale now.

 

 

Posted June 14, 2013

The Boone Dawdle: A True/False Summer Tradition Returns August 17th

Summer is back. As you map your plans to enjoy the sunshine, don’t forget about our modest contribution to the season. Saturday, August 17th is the fourth edition of The Boone Dawdle, a day long celebration of nature, biking, music, food and film. Tickets for the 2013 Boone Dawdle  are on sale now. Not only is this curious little expedition a great time, it also helps raise money that keeps the True/False Film Fest cruising along through the off-season.

Things will get underway at Flat Branch Park, where some of us will meet up before peddling westward down the Katy Trail. The whimsical bike ride that follows will feature numerous trail-side surprises and musical interludes. Eventually, we’ll all get together at Les Bourgeois Winery in Rocheport (those who forgo the bike ride can drive or take a shuttle) where we’ll share cuisine and libations. As the sun begins to set, we’ll find seats on the beautiful limestone bluff overlooking the Missouri River and enjoy a concert and outdoor screening of a new documentary. The evening will end with a filmmaker Q and A before we all hop a shuttle back to CoMo.

photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Andy Richmond

photo by Scott Patrick Myers

photo by Scott Patrick Myers

The film playing this summer’s Boone Dawdle has yet to be revealed. In the past three years, we’ve featured docs with stories both shockingly bizarre and unmistakably human.

In 2010 we watched Best Worst Movie. In it director and Boone Dawdle guest Michael Stephenson looks into both the making of and fandom surrounding Troll 2, the movie he starred in as a child and tried so very hard to forget. Widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever, the so-bad-it’s-good Troll 2 features no trolls, but is instead the story of a family vacation in Nilbog, a town whose residents are secretly militant vegetarian goblins plotting to feed the family special green food so that they can be transformed into plants and thus consumed. In Best Worst Movie, the show is stolen by our other guest, the eminently likeable small town dentist George Hardy. George always dreamed of being a star, and in Troll 2 he gives a performance for the ages as the family patriarch.

In its second year, the Boone Dawdle brought us Last Days Here. This film documents the moving resurrection of Bobby Liebling, front man of the underappreciated hard rock act Pentagram. Our guest that year was the film’s unlikely hero, metal enthusiast Sean Pelletier. Sean’s love of Pentagram‘s music led him to track down Bobby, and eventually help rescue him from the depths of drug addiction. With Sean’s help, Bobby triumphantly returned to the stage in 2011, as you can see below.


Last year we screened The Source (recently renamed The Source Family) the stranger-than-fiction story of an early 70s new age movement, led by health food guru and reformed armed robber Jim Baker, renamed in enlightenment as Father Yod. Moving into a communal home, the family attempted a radical restarting of human society, experimenting with meditation, drugs and plural marriage. The Source Family is just now scheduled to return to Mid-Missouri and will be playing at Ragtag Cinema beginning on June 17. Our Boone Dawdle guests that year were co-director Jodi Wille and family member/historian Isis Aquarian, who compiled the rich archival materials that made the film possible. Among the many other things, these include the far-out recordings of the family’s psych-rock band, the Yahowha 13.

Keep an eye out for the announcement of our 2013 film sometime soon. And we look forward to seeing you along the trail!

Posted May 31, 2013

La Operación Jarocha Performs at Sparky’s in a Video by Folk to Folk

La Operación Jarocha hail from Veracruz, Mexico and appeared at T/F 2013 alongside the film Who is Dayani Cristal? which features their music. These energetic performers were also a part of our first ever at music showcase at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream, a long time sponsor of the fest. Thankfully our friends from Folk to Folk were there to capture a stirring performance. See for yourself!

Posted April 29, 2013

True Life Fund raises $36,760 for RISC and the Milton Margai School for the Blind

Each year, the True/False Film Fest selects one film as its True Life Fund recipient. This is a way for us to give back to that film’s subject who has made a significant achievement in selfless social impact. When documentary subjects share their stories with us they not only reveal painful details about their lives, they frequently incur a financial burden or even put themselves in danger. This year’s True Life Fund film, Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, tells the story of someone who has already given his life. Tim worked as a photojournalist in war torn countries, documenting the true life stories of the people he found there. He died on the way to the hospital from complications due to shrapnel wounds while photographing the civil war in Libya. Columbia has a rich history of producing great journalists, so we felt our home town would be especially responsive to Tim’s story. That has proven to be so, with the 2013 True Life Fund reaching a new record in donations, totaling $36,760.

This number was reached through a combination of audience donations made during the two screenings of the film during the fest, entry fees for the True Life Run, a generous matching donation from the Bertha Foundation, support from the official True Life Fund sponsor The Crossing and the incredible efforts of the students of Hickman High School. $20,000 of the funds will go to RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues), an organization founded by the film’s director Sebastian Junger in honor of his fallen colleague and Restrepo co-director, Tim Hetherington. In a phone conversation Wednesday between RISC’s Deputy Director, Lily Hindy, and True Life Fund director, Tracy Lane, Hindy was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Columbia, “We are so grateful. Thanks to you, we can fund an entire training session.” Each training session provides 24 combat journalists with a medical kit and the medical skills needed to save each other’s lives on the battlefield. Junger visited The Crossing during T/F, to share his experiences alongside his former colleague on the battle field and to explain the life-saving opportunities that RISC provides. Hindy visited Columbia’s three public high schools as well as the photojournalism department at MU during T/F week, to share information about RISC with young journalists. $16,760 will go to the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone, where Tim took many photographs.

Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington premieres on HBO this Thursday, April 18th. A slideshow of Tim’s photography is available on their website.

 

Posted April 12, 2013
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