True/False 2015 Photo Team Favorites

Throughout this year’s festival, the talented T/F photo team was on high alert, capturing vital images of the weekend. We asked the members of our team to pick their favorite two pictures from True/False 2015 and collected them below underneath each photographer’s name. You can click that name and link over to their own site to check out more of their work and hire them to document your own event. You can find more photos from T/F 2015 on our website here as well as in the Facebook albums here.


Billie Stock

TF15 - Box Office Early Pass Pickup - BS-41

Early pass pickup at the T/F 2015 Box Office


TF15 - True Vision Award at MO Theatre - BS-1

The Missouri Theatre just before the True Vision Award screening of Bitter Lake


Corey Ransberg

(photo by Corey Ransberg)

Vimeo Theater at the Blue Note


SWAMI program

The T/F SWAMI program meets


Frank Finely

Anonymous Choir performs at the United Methodist Church Santuary.

Anonymous Choir performs at the United Methodist Church santuary



Micheal Madson, director of THE VISIT answers a questions from the audience via Skype at the Missouri Theater.

Micheal Madsen, director of The Visit, answers a questions from the audience via Skype at the Missouri Theater.



Jon Asher


Showdown between the police and a turtle in Alley A



The Long Now

The Long Now at The Picturehouse



Megan Stilley

MO Theatre Venue during T/F Film Fest. (Megan Stilley)

Exterior of The Missouri Theatre




Sunday Showcase at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream


Morgan Lieberman


The March March parade




Panelist vote “true” or “false” during Gimme Truth!



Parker Michel-Boyce

True/False film festival 2015

Excited festgoer



Rebecca Allen


Fest goers mingle at The Columbia Art League during The Jubilee




Anonymous Choir performs in the sanctuary at the Missouri United Methodist Church



Ryan Henriksen


March March participants head down 9th Street



Q lines on Sunday, March 8, 2015.(Photo by: Ryan Henriksen)

Q forms outside The Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note



Sarah Hoffman


In front of the Missouri Theatre during Busker’s Last Stand




Students arrive at the Missouri Theatre for DIY Day



Stephen Bybee


The T/F production team hard at work at the lab



Selfies at the starting line

Selfies at the starting line of the True Life Run



Taylor Blatchford


Paul Rucker performs before Those Who Feel the Fire Burning




Runners finish the True Life Run



Whitney Buckner

TF15-The measure of all things-WB-5

Sam Green performs The Measure of All Things



TF15-Thurs TrueFolk Happy Hr-WB-4

The Thursday True/Folk showcase at Cafe Berlin

Posted March 23, 2015

T/F and Flaherty NYC Co-Presenting ‘Rebels of the Neon God’ Tuesday, March 17

We’re excited to be partnering with Flaherty NYC and programmers Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez to present Rebels of the Neon God, a collection of films about youth culture, the relentless search for authentic forms of rebellion and the detritus left behind, this Tuesday at 7 at Anthology Film Archives in NYC. All three filmmakers will be present for a post-screening Q and A moderated by Robert Greene. Dusty Stacks of Mom (T/F 2014), the final film in the program, will be performed live by filmmaker Jodie Mack!


Films in Rebels of the Neon God:


The Blazing World (T/F 2015)
Directed by Jessica Bardsley
(USA, 2013, 18 min., DV)

A troubling relationship arises between the character played by Winona Ryder in the film Girl, Interrupted, the genuine depression experienced by the actress, and the shoplifting of which she was accused. Consisting entirely of clips stolen from existing films, this video essay, which ultimately turns out to be profoundly personal, explores possible links between depression and kleptomania.


image from The Blazing World

image from The Blazing World


Buffalo Juggalos
Directed by Scott Cummings
(USA, 2014, 30 min., digital file)

An experimental exploration and celebration of the Juggalo subculture in Buffalo, New York. Surreal scenes shot in long and static takes of Juggalos engaged in their favorite activities, first and foremost of which – causing mayhem. Among these seemingly random acts of preening, backyard wrestling, explosions, hedonism, violence and destruction, a tentative narrative begins to emerge.


image from Buffalo Juggalos

image from Buffalo Juggalos


Dusty Stacks of Mom (T/F 2014)
Directed by Jodie Mack
(USA, 2013, 41 min., 16mm)
Performed Live by Filmmaker Jodie Mack!

Interweaving the forms of personal filmmaking, abstract animation, and rock opera, this animated musical documentary examines the rise and fall of a nearly-defunct poster and postcard wholesale business; the changing role of physical objects and virtual data in commerce; and the division (or lack of) between abstraction in fine art and psychedelic kitsch. Using alternate lyrics as voice over narration, the piece adopts the form of a popular rock album reinterpreted as a cine-performance.


image from Dusty Stacks of Mom

image from Dusty Stacks of Mom

Posted March 13, 2015

Europe as Hell: An Interview with Morgan Knibbe About ‘Those Who Feel the Fire Burning’

Director Morgan Knibbe’s ambitious feature debut examines a serious social problem, the difficult and often hopeless lives of recent immigrants to Europe, via an ambitious, literary approach. Those Who Feel the Fire Burning (T/F 2015) forces us to adopt the perspective of a ghost, a man who drowns while attempting his own journey to Europe. As the ghost we float over crowded streets, journey down back alleys and enter into private rooms, observing the lives of the marginalized and searching for some sense of connection.



I recently got the chance to speak with Morgan on Skype ahead of his film’s screening at T/F 2015. It plays for the first time ever in the United States tonight, opening night, at 9:30 pm at The Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note.

-Dan Steffen

True/False: How did you first conceive this film?

Morgan Knibbe: The concept was to tell the story of a ghost through a collage of stories from different people, who together are one. A guy drowns, shifts into a new reality and is dropped by some kind of mysterious power in a new universe. This universe turns out to be something like Europe — or hell — but not what he expected it to be.

We tried to give a strong cinematic power to documentary images, to say something much more than just the documentary quality of the image itself. The ghost is a metaphor for the lives of all these different people that you see in the film. He begins by roaming the streets and looking for where he actually is. Where am I? Where are the people that I love? Are they still alive? Can I find them somewhere? He sees people who could possibly be from his country and starts observing them. He feels more and more detached from reality as he sees how these people are living life in extreme poverty where they were supposed to have achieved their dreams, in Europe.

The idea was to create a perspective for the audience as if they were experiencing it themselves. But it’s hard if you can’t live with one character. We didn’t want to follow one character from beginning to end, but a wide diversity of people from different cultures, because we wanted to emphasize how big and complicated this problem is. We wanted to bring along many different people from different cultures with different personalities, but with a common problem.

So I was thinking of a way to tell a story of a bunch of different people without a very rigid, classical narrative structure. Yet in the end we ended up with something similar, because the ghost goes through a development. He enters the story with a problem. He tries to solve the problem, but he can’t. Ultimately, he tries to deal with the given.

T/F: How did you know when you had the complete story?

MK: I had written down a lot of the story before we began shooting. My sound recordist Taco Drijfhout and I were very close and were always talking about the development of the story, what elements we needed to be consistent from beginning to end. It was always based on what the ghost is going through. The ghost and the people together somehow need to go through a collective experience, where they all slip down further into some kind of an abyss or hell. At some point people get so desperate they start using drugs. The situation gets when worse when many people die. Finally, people are really trying to flee reality by holding on to a religious ritual used in their culture to express grief. They feel a very strong collective power of grieving.



image from Those Who Feel the Fire Burning


T/F: Yeah, the film felt like it was building towards a feeling of religious transcendence, as both promise and peril. How do you see the religious aspect of the film?

MK: I really was inspired by a lot of religion during the making of the film. I thought I had a responsibility to understand what these people believe in. Most of them are Muslim, but they’re not all the same type of Muslim.

Even though I am not religious, I think religious stories are often quite epic and impressive. I think Hell is a very interesting story. How if you do something wrong you can end up in a very horrible place, but actually that place exists here on Earth. That’s what we tried to play with.

Religious stories often carry metaphors for big human problems and dilemmas. We tried to take something from these religious stories which more or less affects all human beings, to reach a state of equality between the audience and the people in the film. To make it a universal problem. What is good and what is evil? Is there a creator? What is the purpose of life?

But the universal also lies in very small things. Like the way a father speaks to his son in a loving way, how a little girl eats chips or how a man wakes up from sleeping.

T/F: How did you go about creating the voice-over?

MK: The text is spoken and written by someone who more or less experienced this. It’s a man from Iran named Ali Borzuee.

We were doing additional dialogue recording and still looking for someone to be the voice. We knew that we wanted the ghost to have very rich sound, a wise voice of an old man who looks back on his life or forward to hell or heaven or wherever he’s going.

Ali is one of the people who would do ADR, but he also brought a poem that he wanted to recite. Everybody was listening very carefully, and he had to cry. It was very intense and we all decided I think we should ask this guy to do the voice-over for the film.

It took quite a while before we found the right way to write the text. At first I was writing it, but it sounded a little bit artificial. So we asked this guy to improvise. We gave him some specific prompt, for example you have to tell the story of how you first met your wife, you have to name a lot of things from the country where you first grew up. That worked well.

T/F: The idea of perspective in this film is really interesting to me. There is always a perspective in nonfiction film, but your film really forces you to think about it by making it explicit.

MK: What I always say about the way we made this film is that in a way we are really honest about the manipulation. It is a film that is supposed to be very cinematic, and the only way to do that is to manipulate. So the point was never realism or objectivity, because I think that’s a big problem with the way this kind of subject is portrayed normally. There’s always this kind of objectivity that people try to use. But I think that’s not possible. It’s an illusion. That’s why we tried to get rid of that and make a very strong cinematic experience. I think that’s a more honest way of filmmaking.

I am very curious about the manipulation of images and sounds when virtual reality is in a further state of development, a place where reality and virtual reality are harder to distinguish from each other. In a way film has this effect already. People easily think they watch reality or the truth, especially when the film is ‘documentary’. In fact it is a subjective representation of what other people think, or how they observe and listen. Or how they want you to think.

I understand that journalist want to fight for objectivity, but I’m not sure if their battle will be very effective, since they are fighting for something that doesn’t exist.

T/F: Are there any films or filmmakers that served as a point of departure for Those Who Feel the Fire Burning? Particularly in regards to this idea of forcing the audience’s awareness the film’s perspective?

MK: Definitely! Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders. Enter the Void and Irréversible by Gaspar Noe. Irréversible is the best film I’ve ever seen and was also a huge inspiration. He has this crazy way of sucking up the audience in a cinematic experience that truly evokes primal emotions within the audience, but at the same time he makes the audience work and think and search for answers. I think Gaspar Noe could have been influenced by some of Eisenstein’s thoughts about “cinema of attractions”, a theory about stimulating the audience’s primal feelings instead of taking them along a conventional narrative.

Filmmakers like Noe and Haneke use these cinematic tools to evoke primal emotions, but at the same time add artificial elements that somehow make the structure of the film visible, which is actually a filmmaker being honest about manipulation and giving the audience space to reflect upon the medium and themselves. But this balance is always difficult, because you can lose your audience.

The use of darkness and suggesting tracking shots was also a key concept for Those Who Feel the Fire Burning. Some tracking shots out of Children of Men by Alfonso Cuaron were an inspiration.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives was a huge inspiration, especially for sound design, as was the indie game Limbo. We wanted to create hell on earth, or some sort of state in between heaven and hell, limbo or the purgatory. To do that we wanted to lift the images out of the realism and create a feeling of a huge void in sound design.

Posted March 11, 2015

Read and Listen to Interviews with True/False 2015 Filmmakers

True/False 2015 may be past, but you can still read and hear more from the many brilliant filmmakers we were able to bring to town. To begin with, we’ve conducted three interviews here on our blog:

Joshua Oppenheimer discusses The Look of Silence and The Act of Killing

Morgan Knibbe discusses Those Who Feel the Fire Burning

Laurent Becue-Renard discusses Of Men and War

We’ll have more of these interviews throughout the year ahead.


Meanwhile, KBIA has completed the 2015 edition of their series True/False Conversations which features short chats with filmmakers available as text and audio. They include:

Qi Zhao talks The Chinese Mayor

Ed Cunningham talks Finders Keepers

Michael Madsen talks The Visit

Jimmy Chin talks Meru

Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden talk Almost There

Liz Garbus talks What Happened, Miss Simone?

Eri Daniel Erlich talks Life According to Ohad

Laurent Becue-Renard talks Of Men and War


And from the first night of the Based on a True Story conference at the University of Missouri, you can now watch video of critic Dana Stevens in-depth conversation with Joshua Oppenheimer.


True/False 2015 Fest Digest

The True/False 2015 Fest Digest provides a day-by-day look back at some of the events that made up this year’s Fest with stories, pics and videos. Explore each entry below:


Opening Night



An End


Watch True/False 2015 Videos from Our Video Team

Throughout the festival, the T/F Video Team put in long hours and late nights creating daily recap videos for each day of the Fest. A big thank you to videographers Paul Mossine, Chelsea Myers, Samuel Ott, Matthew Suppes, Ben Hendricks, Matt Schacht, Thomas Brinegar and Jonathan Sessions for capturing the feel of True/False 2015. Check out their work below:



Music by: Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers – “I Found A New Baby”
Edited by Thomas Brinegar



Music by: David Wax Museum – “Will You Be Sleeping”
Edited by Paul Mossine



Music by Messy Sparkles – Untitled, Pat Sajak Assassins – “Cave Bacon”
Edited by Samuel Ott


Thank You Volunteers!

Music: Yes Ma’am
Edited: Chelsea Myers


True/False 2015 Fest Digest: An End

We have all once more parted ways. It’s always a little sad to realize that the festival is now part of the past. But hopefully True/False 2015 is now part of a past we can carry with us and live together inside of for years to come.

Jarred Alterman’s final prefeature micro film “The Bottle Hunter” considers messages sent through time, arriving in the present through a window of time. Hopefully a few of the thousands of ideas, impressions, feelings and experiences that we shared this weekend will arrive suddenly in your present at a time you least expect it.



We sprung forward into the final day of T/F 2015, meaning the 9:30 screening of The Visit came extra early at the Missouri Theatre. Michael Madsen’s hypnotic simulation of humanity’s first encounter with alien intelligence features interviews with international officials who actually develop protocol for such an occurrence.


photo by Rebecca Allen

photo by Rebecca Allen


Meanwhile, at the Oddfellows Lodge everyone chowed down at the Weird Wake-Up before entering the theater for a double bill mid-length films about art curation and time: Abandoned Goods and Jeff, Embrace Your Past.


photo by Megan Stilley

photo by Megan Stilley


On Sunday, long time friend Gabe Williams guided the ever-popular Art Ramble through downtown Columbia, highlighting the art installations during True/False. He spoke about the ephemeral nature of True/False’s art and the temporary nature of all of our human achievements. One of the pieces considered was Duncan Bindbeutel The Frozen Man located outside of Ragtag Cinema.


photo by Megan Stilley

photo by Megan Stilley


Sunday afternoon at The Missouri Theatre hosted director Nick Broomfield’s Tales from the Grim Sleeper, which investigates the community and police response (or lack thereof) to a serial killer’s 20-plus year killing spree of young women in South Central L.A. Broomfield was joined on stage by Pam Brooks, a woman from the area who becomes an ad hoc investigator in the film.


photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock


At our rookie venue Cornell on the MU campus, T/F 2015 concluded with a screening of Finders Keepers, a hilarious and poignant film about the custody battle over a severed foot.


photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen


Later at the Vimeo Theater at the Blue Note, T/F concluded with a screening of Episode Five of The Jinx: the Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, the HBO nonfiction series. Before hand, David explained his excitement about the potential for long form nonfiction on television that the series represents. Afterwards, filmmaker Marc Smerling discussed episode’s startling developments, while carefully avoiding spoilers for next week’s finale.


photo by  Jarred Gastreich

photo by Jarred Gastreich


And at the Missouri Theatre, a huge crowd gathered for the always bittersweet Busker’s Last Stand, where a huge array of T/F 2015 musicians performed in unison.


photo by Sarah Hoffman

photo by Sarah Hoffman


True/False is only possible because each and every year hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers joyfully contribute their time and labor. We can not let the fact that they show up each and every year make us complacent in recognizing how remarkable this is. Thank you to our volunteers. You are incredible.

The hardworking T/F Video team put together this short piece as one expression of our gratitude.



Another way we try to say thank you is our Sunday night volunteer party. Our party team spent countless hours transforming an undisclosed location into an indescribable party space. Once again, it was the best party of the year. Each room offered specific delights as we all spent a feel hours drinking, talking and dancing inside of some sort of strange utopia.


photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock


Thank you again to everyone who made this possible. True/False 2015 may be past, but we will try to keep the conversation about the art of nonfiction cinema going, both here on our website and out in the world, through the weeks and months ahead until we all come together again March 3, 2016.

-Dan Steffen
Minister of Propaganda
True/False Film Fest

Posted March 9, 2015

True/False 2015 Fest Digest: Saturday

True/False 2015 barreled ahead through a glorious, jam-packed Saturday. With so much to see and hear and think and feel, you find yourself forgetting to eat and sleep. Inside the Fest, time seems to move differently.

In Jarred Alterman’s third microfilm, “The Beekeeper”, Jim Thaxter explains something similar, how organisms like bees experience the flow of time not as individuals, but as a collective.



Saturday began bright and early with our the True Life Run, a surprise-filled journey through the heart of Columbia to benefit our True Life Fund. The weather was great, and a run felt like just the thing after two days of cinema.


True Life Run start

photo by Stephen Bybee


At the Forrest Theater, Saturday began with a screening of Heaven Knows What, one of the few films at T/F this year which could clearly, if not cleanly, be described as “fiction”. Afterwards, brother filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie described meeting their star Arielle Holmes while she was living on the street, and persuading her to right a memoir about her life, which eventually became the basis for the screenplay. They also talked about shooting from blocks away, so that their actors could authentically inhabit New York.


Copy of Benny-&-Joshua-Safdie-Q&A-at-Forrest

photo by Frank Finley


That afternoon at the Missouri Theatre, it was time for the biggest screening of our 2015 True Life Fund film, The Look of Silence. David Wilson and Crossing Church Pastor Dave Cover introduced the film and the fund benefiting Adi Rukun, who in the film confronts perpetrators of the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide. After the screening, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer translated while Adi joined us from Indonesia via Skype. When asked about revenge Adi said, ”I never wanted to take revenge. What good would it do?  It would just perpetuate violence forever.”


photo by Parker-Michels Boyce

photo by Parker-Michels Boyce


At Reynolds Journalism Institute, our second day of panels featured a discussion about working with subjects on the margins. Filmmakers Hanna Polack (Something Better to Come), Morgan Knibble (Those Who Feel the Fire Burning) and Khalik Allah (Field Niggas) considered numerous pitfalls in conversation with moderator by Omar Mullick (These Birds Walk).


photo by Megan Stilley

photo by Megan Stilley


A little later, back at the Missouri Theatre, former True Vision Award winner Alex Gibney took the stage following a screening of Going Clear, his comprehensive expose on the history and methods of the Church of Scientology. Gibney talked about preparing for the ongoing legal battle that followed the film’s premiere at Sundance and capturing the right tone for this stranger-than-fiction story.


photo by Parker Michels-Boyce

photo by Parker Michels-Boyce


Later at The Globe, an audience gathered to watch the hilarious Rules of the Game, a French film following three teens as they progress (or regress) through a program designed to prepare them for the workforce. Even the film’s chapter introductions drew huge laughs from the crowd, who watched the film beneath the glow of Camellia Cosgray’s lighted megamap.


photo by Corey Ransberg

photo by Corey Ransberg


At 9th and Broadway, The Great Wall featured short films and news reports from our late friend Malik Bendjelloul, who won over T/F audiences with his earnest charm when appearing with his film Searching for Sugar Man (T/F 2012). Beneath The Wall, David Wilson led a toast for Malik “who will always have a place at True/False.”


Copy of TF15-MalikToast-RA-01


Then it was time for one of True/False’s signature events, Gimme Truth! In our always raucous game show, a panel of filmmakers must try to discern if short films are 100% True or 100% False.


photo by Morgan Lieberman

photo by Morgan Lieberman


In this short clip captured by our friends at CAT TV, panelists Ioanis Nugent (Spartacus & Cassandra), Lyric R. Cabral ((T)ERROR) and Nick Broomfield (Tales of the Grim Sleeper) appraise Snip Snip: A Story of Childhood Loss by Mike Sleadd & Matt Schacht.



Meanwhile at the Missouri United Methodist Church, Anonymous Choir performed in a first-of-its-kind Sanctuary Showcase, sending beautiful melodies echoing off of the walls.


photo by Rebecca Allen

photo by Rebecca Allen


While over at Rose Music Hall, Shilpa Ray tore through the place with her harmonium and voice as part of our Saturday Showcase.


photo by Whitney Buckne

photo by Whitney Buckner


Only one days remains, but there is no slowing down. It is time to spring forward into the final day of T/F 2015. But before we do, lets take one last look back at Saturday with the latest offering from the T/F Video Team, who pulled yet another all-nighter to bring you the sights and sounds of T/F.


Posted March 8, 2015

True/False 2015 Fest Digest: Friday

On Friday True/False expanded into more and more venues, events, screenings, concerts, panels and parties. This makes our job in the Fest Digest even more of a fool’s errand, but we’ll try to provide a little bit of cohesion to the day that was. Below you’ll find descriptions, images and video of just a few of the things that happened yesterday.

Before each program on Friday, fest-goers saw Jarred Alterman’s second microfilm “The Clockmaker”, in which “Pendulum” Bob King considers time as something we think we grasp, but is ultimately mysterious.



In the august setting of the Missouri Theatre, Friday began with an extraordinary event in T/F history. For the first time, T/F partnered with Columbia high schools to bring each and every 10th grader from Columbia public high schools to a special showing of What Happened, Miss Simone at Missouri theater.


Copy of TF15-DIYDAY-SH-13

photo by Sarah Hoffman


The film charts the life of the combustible, brilliant jazz singer Nina Simone. After the film, students asked questions to director Liz Garbus, who discussed Simone’s psychological afflictions and their complicated relationship with her ability to produce incredible art.


photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen


Afterward, students migrated to the greater Orr St. area for our DIY (Do It Yourself!) Day! Orr St. Studios housed a large parade preparation workshop, with glitter galore, and mask and banner creation for the March March. Smaller individual breakout sessions focused on filmmaking, music, screen-printing and advice from those with success in creating a life of artistic expression.


photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen


photo by Ryan Henriksen

photo by Ryan Henriksen


In an attempt to dig deeper into the minds of the many brilliant guests we bring to town, we put on a series of conversations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. In our first, panelists Kevin B. Lee (Transformers: The Premake), Zhao Qi (producer of The Chinese Mayor) and Dean Ming Yang and Dr. Zhenzheng Wang discussed the state of documentary filmmaking in the People’s Republic of China and different models that filmmakers there have attempted to try to reach audiences.


photo by Corey Ransberg

photo by Corey Ransberg


True/False presents but a single award each year. Our True Vision Award honors the career of a working filmmaker who has made significant contributions to nonfiction cinema. This year that honor went to Adam Curtis, who for over twenty years at the BBC has reevaluated history through brilliant archival montages.

At noon Friday Curtis presented a unique program at our second home, Ragtag Cinema, titled Unstoryfiable: Where Journalism Fails and Modern Power Begins. Talking in-between short films, segments and clips, Curtis’ wide-ranging, audacious and frequently humorous presentation argued that new systems of power, grounded in predictive systems for risk management, hide in plain sight because they are impossible to capture with either narrative or imagery.


Copy of TF15-Unstoryfiable-JG-1457

photo by Jarred Gastreich


Immediately following Unstoryfiable, Adam was whisked away to the Missouri Theatre, where Paul presented him with the True Vision Award ahead of a screening of his new film Bitter Lake, which examines the tortured history of Afghanistan in light of a fateful agreement between the United States and the House of Saud.


photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock


When the bright and sunny afternoon Friday afternoon rolled around it was time for the March March, in which we usher in a new season with a joyous parade down the center of downtown Columbia, featuring music, costumes, puppets and more.


photo by Sarah Hoffman

photo by Sarah Hoffman


photos by Ryan Henriksen

photos by Ryan Henriksen


Meanwhile at the Picturehouse, it was the first screening of Spartacus & Cassandra, an artful blend of verite intimacy and lyrical interludes about the lives of two Roma children at a crossroads. Director Loanis Nuguent and subject Camille Brisson were on hand afterwards for a spirited Q and A.

photo by Corey Ransberg

photo by Corey Ransberg


And at Rhynsburger Theatre, Sam Green presented The Measure of All Things, a constantly evolving live-documentary featuring live musical accompaniment. As still images and video clips appeared on screen, Green narrated a interwoven series of tales inspired by entries in The Guinness Book of World Records, including the time the world’s second tallest man saved the life of a dolphin.


photo by Whitney Buckner

photo by Whitney Buckner


A little later filmmakers and festgoers come into close contact at the Oddfellows Lodge during Campfire Stories, an intimate event where filmmakers tell stories of “the scene that got away.” In one of this year’s entries, Khalik Allah of Field Niggas described gaining and then losing a subject, and a friend. Our friends at CAT TV captured his tale on video.



The night ended at Tonic with the @CTION Party. By the time midnight rolled around, the dance floor was crammed with bodies in motion to the sounds provided by DJs Gold E Mouf and Cousin Cole.


photo by Jarred Gastreich

photo by Jarred Gastreich


Friday’s gone, but there’s so much more T/F to come. Time to head out back into the festival. But before we do, let’s take one last look at Friday through a video recap, amazingly created overnight by the diligent T/F Video Team.



Onwards to Saturday!

Posted March 7, 2015

True/False 2015 Fest Digest: Opening Night!

T/F Opening night brings with it adrenaline and jitters, followed by the sudden ecstasy of being once more in a crowd of fest-goers and a feeling of that excitement echoed back. No matter your preparation, True/False only truly exists in the present, right now.

Before all of the opening night films, the first of Jarred Alterman’s T/F 2015 microfilms examining our concept of time screened. “The Astrophysicist” introduces us to Angela Speck, who explains how, in her extra-intuitive domain of inquiry, time becomes a measurement of distance.



The promise of a new True/False weekend manifests in our annual fancy pants gala, The Jubilee. Costumed T/F fans packed the august Missouri Theatre, enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres, the joyful noise created by a menagerie of performing buskers.


Copy of TF15-Jubilee-JG-1010

photo by Jarred Gastreich


Copy of TF15-Jubilee-JG-1154

photo by Jarred Gastreich


Eventually, we all found our seats for a screening of Best of Enemies a film which offers fascinating context to the vital archival footage of William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s seminal televised debates of the late 60s. Afterwards co-director Morgan Neville tried to explain the feeling of finally sharing a film with an audience after being alone with it for so long. He also said he wants to provoke discussion about “civil and uncivil discourse.”


Copy of TF15-BestofEnemiesQA-MS-06

photo by Megan Stilley


Later at the Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note, Morgan Knibbe’s impressive feature debut Those Who Feel the Fire Burning screened for the very first time in the United States. By forcing us into the perspective of a hovering ghost, the film aims to “throw the audience into the deep” of the difficult and often hopeless lives of recent immigrants to Europe. Afterwards, Knibbe talked with the crowd and T/F programmer Chris Boeckmann about wanting to find a poetic approach to this problem that went “further than the numbers and factual information.”


Copy of TF15-ThoseWhoFeelTheFireBurning-TB-151

photo by Taylor Blatchford


Opening night came to an end at Cafe Berlin with the Toast/False busker showcase, featuring the bittersweet music of Cindy Woolf & Mark Bilyeu, Jack Grelle & Ryan Koenig and The Strangled Darlings, seen below.



photo by Corey Ransberg


Thursday night was but a warm-up for what is in store for us today. But before we plunge ahead, let’s take one more look at the excitement of opening night via the T/F Video Team, whose work features Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers’ song “I Found A New Baby”.


Posted March 6, 2015
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