Program for Tonight’s Gimme Truth!

Here’s the program for tonight’s Gimme Truth! tonight at the Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note.


Johnny St. John

This disgraced former game show host continues on what appears to be an interminable comeback trail. Paroled once again to host his eighth consecutive Gimme Truth!, Johnny St. John is here to relive his glory years before scandal brought him to his knees. Marrying the sardonic wit of ‘60s-era quiz show hosts with the razzmatazz of a pool shark, St. John has collected restraining orders from at least eight T/F filmmakers. Please don’t report him, and join in when he starts singing his self-penned Gimme Truth! theme song. Though we don’t condone his methods, after seven years it’s hard to argue with results.


Ioanis Nugent- director of Spartacus & Cassandra

Ioanis (ee-wah-nees, we think) plays the part of our befuddled foreigner. He’s used to running amok with two Roma children and a no-nonsense trapeze artist. Here’s to hoping he finds something transferrable between that and this stage. We make no promises.

Lyric R. Cabral- director of (T)ERROR

Lyric is hell-bent on interrogating each of the contestants. She lived next to an FBI informant for years and unlike the rest of us, she not only knew but made a movie about it. By the end of the show she may very well discover all the secrets of our very own Johnny St. John.

Nick Broomfield- director of Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Don’t let his British accent throw you off–with his morbid curiosity he’s influenced American pop-culture about as much as anyone. We think forbidding him from taking the stage with his boom pole AKA bullshit detector should level out the playing field.


1. Snip Snip: A Story of Childhood Loss

dir. Mike Sleadd & Matt Schacht

2. Kinda Famous

dir. Diggy Splash & Justin Gregory

3. Sparky’s

dir. Tucker Morrison & Aaron Persky

4. On the Fence

dir. Kate and Jimmy Moore

5. John B. Thompkins and the Special Shaving Equipment

dir. Pat Holt

6. My Name is Billie

dir. Livvy Runyon

7. Living History

dir. Jilly Dos Santos, Jess Christensen, Alex Isgriggs & Maddy Mueller

8. Gyno Might

dir. Benjamin J Hedrick

9. Flossy Flossy

dir. Autumn Brown & Heather Beger

10. Family Heirloom

dir. Paul Mossine & Chandra Heartland


Call of Duty

dir. Matt Lenski, 2015, 6 min.

Posted March 7, 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!


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

True/False 2015 Fest Digest: Beginnings

True/False 2015 is right now.

Welcome to our daily digest. Here we’ll be covering the Fest each day as it happens and trying to talk about True/False as a whole. Paradoxically, the only way to do this is to look closely at a few individual parts. In these daily updates, we’ll be covering just a fraction of the film screenings, Q and As, panel conversations, concerts, parties and art exhibits happening this weekend in coordination with the T/F photo and video teams.

In 2015 we want to talk about time. Among the arts, cinema’s relationship with time is unique. A film only truly exists inside of its brief run-time, yet inside of that sacred set of minutes, great cinema dominates time, underlining it or erasing it, chopping it to pieces or stretching it out before us. Likewise, our festival is a mere four days, but we aim to offer an experience which opens temporally both backwards and forwards, outward into the years.

To look at T/F we need to start not at the beginning, but at many beginnings, conceptual, temporal, geographical of the threads which have gathered together into our festival.

To help explore the daunting theme of time, we once more called upon the services of filmmaker Jarred Alterman, who crafted the microfilms you’ll see before each and every screening. Here’s an enigmatic preview of what he has in store for us.



True/False exists to investigate the contradiction at the heart of cinema, a medium which can faithfully capture slivers of reality while constantly manipulating our experience. A couple years ago we began an important new part of this inquiry thanks to the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Neither/Nor is an annual partnership with a visiting film critic to map a history of chimeric cinema, films which aggressively embrace cinema’s central paradox. This year in our third Neither/Nor program critic Ela Bittencourt is presenting a series of shamefully under seen work from Poland, covering the last two decades of that nation’s Communist rule. Ela created a beautiful monograph featuring essays and interviews on all six programs in the series, available right now at the Ragtag Box office.

Months of preparation and research for Neither/Nor culminated last night in a kickoff for the series at Ragtag Cinema, downtown CoMo’s 365-day a year cinema born of the same parent organization and inseparable from the Fest in innumerable ways. In the Hittsville gallery space hosted a photography show of the work of filmmaker Bogdan Dziworski, one of the Polish masters we’re honoring this year.


Copy of TF15-NeitherNor-TB-047

photo by Taylor Blatchford


Inside Ragtag’s big theater we held a reception for Ela with authentic Polish food from Columbia’s Cafe Poland. We then settled in for a presentation of Arena of Life, a program of unforgettable short films by Bogdan. Afterwards Bogdan spoke excitedly as Ela translated about his desire to blend the surreal and the real through aggressive sound design and told an unbelievable story about a planned prison break.


Copy of TF15-NeitherNorReception-RA-02

photo by Rebecca Allen


Meanwhile, our annual fundraising effort for a documentary subject, the True Life Fund, is already well underway. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, the man responsible for The Act of Killing and it’s companion film The Look of Silence has made appearances at all four Columbia high schools, discussing with students how Adi Rukun, The Look’s protagonist, heroically confronted the still powerful men who killed his brother along with hundreds of thousands of others in Indonesia’s anti-communist purges of 1965-66.



photo by Allison Coffelt


At our venues around town and on the University of Missouri campus, our army of volunteers has once more sprung into action, transforming spaces into temporary, yet glorious cinemas. Below you can see the ball room of the Tiger Hotel in the process of becoming The Forrest Theater once more.


Copy of TF15-ForestTheaterSetup-ML-4-2

photo by Morgan Lieberman


Our production team has already spent months and months in T/F’s secret lab, constructing the numerous art installations which will reveal a hidden utopia inside of our city. Here Glenn Rice installs his “light cone” piece in downtown’s central artery, Alley A.



photo by Rebecca Allen


And our central hub of operations, the T/F Box Office, has settled into its new home in Imago Gallery at Hitt and Broadway. The bustling crowds picked up their tickets and passes and scooped out the merch underneath chandeliers and murals dedicated to a creature with extraordinary longevity.


Beautiful artwork overlooking the box office. Photo by Billie Stock

photo by Billie Stock


Finally, last night T/F eve came to an end at Eastside Tavern, where Relevant Hairstyles where part of a weird and wild start to our 2015 music program. Buskers will be playing before each and every screening this weekend.



photo by Jon Asher


It’s about time. The preparation is finally at an end. Let’s get started.

-Dan Steffen
Minister of Propaganda

Posted March 5, 2015

How to ‘Q’

You’ve probably noticed on our schedule that most of the screenings are now marked “NRT” for “No Reserve Tickets”. This may even include the screenings for that one film you really wanted to see. Please, don’t panic. The “No Reserve Tickets” does not mean sold out. You can still use the Q!

We’re very proud of our Q system, which we feel does a great job of keeping T/F accessible, despite of its growth. But we understand it can be confusing and intimidating, particularly for people who haven’t used it before.

So here’s how it works. At each of our venues you’ll immediately notice the conspicuous ‘Q’. One hour before each and every screening, the flamboyantly dressed Q Queen will begin handing out numbered Q cards. Frequently, a line forms at the Q in the lead up to this one hour til showtime mark.


Q ing up in front of the Missouri Theater.


Once you get your numbered Q card, you can go grab a bite to eat or take a stroll around town. Just make sure to come back 15 minutes before the show starts. That’s when we’ll start filling seats off of the Q, based on the number on your Q card, so make sure you’re back with 15 minutes. To speed this process up, the Q Queen will have you form a line in numerical order. We always hold back seats to fill with the Q, in addition to the seats belonging to ticket holders who decide not to come (something which happens frequently at the film festivals).

Once your number is called and you’re ready to head into the theater, you’ll need to do one of two things. If you have a pass, you can just flash it to the volunteer at the door and head on in. Otherwise, make sure you have cash on you to pay at the door.

It’s easy once you get the hang of it. We promise.

This year we are introducing a new incentive to get folks out and ‘Q’ing. Every time you get a Q card, put your name and email on the back. Whether or not you get in to the screening, make sure to hand your card in to the Queen. We’ll draw one Q card at random for all four days of the Fest. Each lucky winner will receive one LUX pass to T/F 2016! Sorry, volunteers, Ragtag and True/False staff are not eligible.

Some things to keep in mind when planning your ‘Q’ing.

How big is the venue? The bigger the venue, the more people will for sure get in on the Q. Ranked from biggest to smallest, our theaters are: The Missouri Theatre, Cornell, The Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note, The Picturehouse, Geology, Rhynsburger, The Globe, The Forrest Theater, Big Ragtag, Odd Fellows Lodge and the Willy Wilson Theater at Ragtag.

What time of day is it? People tend to have a tendency to sleep in and skip that first screening in the morning. Late at night, they might decide that they’ve already had enough for one day. This frees up more seats for the Q. But if you want to go to a screening at 7 pm, you’ll probably have to line up at the Q a little earlier.

Have fun! Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Tell someone about a film you saw. If we’ve done our job right, there should be more than enough to talk about!

Posted February 28, 2015

Coming Soon to The Great Wall!

The Great Wall, T/F’s free outdoor cinema, is back in 2015, now newly situated right outside T/F’s international headquarters at 9th and Broadway. Films will play from 7-11 the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the Fest.

This year The Great Wall will feature two different programs. On Friday and Sunday, we’ll be projecting a shorts program titled Swan Song for the Factory Age. Watch as the walls of modern industry are toppled and a postindustrial civilization arises.

It begins with the hypnotic Single Stream (Ernst Karel, Toby Lee and Pawel Wojtasik, 24 min.), which shows our throwaway society as it reaches operatic excess.

Single Stream

image from Single Stream


In the nihilistic The Digger, the Bell, and the Tropical Pharmacy (Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla and Tony Gerber, 21 min.), we ride shotgun on a single-minded, musical excavator.

The digger

image from The Digger, the Bell and the Tropical Pharmacy


Assembly Line Movement (Jesse Sugarmann, 22 min.), introduces former Pontiac factory workers pantomiming—with surgical precision— their now-obsolete daily rituals.


image from Assembly Line Movement


In Layover (Vanessa Renwick, 6 min.), in which birds swoop over our demise, their relentless choreography signaling a new start.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 8.10.28 AM

image from Layover


This program will also feature a short film from this year’s True Vision Award winner Adam Curtis.


On Saturday night The Great Wall will feature Our Sweet Malik, a tribute to our late friend Malik Bendjelloul. Malik stole our hearts in 2012 when he brought his musical fairy tale Searching for Sugar Man to True/False. He also starred at our game show Gimme Truth! as the charming, befuddled foreigner. Then fresh off of his 2013 Oscar win, he made a victory lap to mentor T/F’s high-school students. With the gracious guidance of Brittany Huckabee—T/F alum and partner of Malik—we’re projecting a number of his visually arresting short works, which herald his later breakthrough.

"Searching for Sugar Man" Greenroom Photo Op - 2012 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

Malik Benjelloul


Make sure to include a little space in your T/F 2015 schedule for a bit of cinema out under the stars.

Posted February 26, 2015

T/F 2015’s New Venues

As you’ve probably noticed by now, three buildings on the University of Missouri campus will become cinemas for the first time at this year’s Fest. A little while back our photo team went out and scouted ahead so that you can familiarize yourself with the spaces before their transformation. Take a look.


Cornell Hall at the College of Business






Rhynsburger Theatre





Geology Lecture Hall in the Geological Sciences Building

-photo by Rebecca Allen -T/F 2015 -Keller Auditorium, Geological Sciences

-photo by Rebecca Allen -T/F 2015 -Keller Auditorium, Geological Sciences

-photo by Rebecca Allen -T/F 2015 -Keller Auditorium, Geological Sciences

Posted February 16, 2015

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

True/False is Adding Three New Screening Venues on the MU Campus for the 2015 Fest

As you may have heard, Jesse Hall at the University of Missouri is closed for building improvements and won’t be ready in time for True/False 2015. This means we will be temporarily losing our largest venue, the 1,700-seat Jesse Auditorium. Thankfully, in coordination with MU planners, college deans and building managers, we’ve come up with three new venues on the MU campus to fill the gap.

We’re excited to announce that Bush Auditorium at Cornell Hall, Keller Auditorium at Geological Sciences and Rhynsburger Theatre at the MU Department of Theatre will all be transformed into cinemas for the four days of T/F 2015. This will make the 500-seat Cornell Hall our southernmost venue. It’s only a 15-minute walk from The Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note, the T/F venue furthest north.

Additionally, the Oddfellows Lodge will become a full-time screening venue. And we’re happy to report that the rest of the T/F 2014 venues will be returning: Missouri Theatre, the Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note, the Picturehouse at Missouri United Methodist Church, Forrest Theater at the Tiger Hotel, the Globe at First Presbyterian Church and, of course, our other half Ragtag Cinema.

We’re looking forward to working even closer with the University of Missouri staff and exposing T/F attendees to more of our town’s major institution.

T/F 2015 will be held on March 5-8. Passes are on sale now.

Posted September 10, 2014

True/False 2014 Videos from Tiny Attic Productions

Check out the complete series of True/False 2014 videos, created by Chelsea Myers and Paul Mossine of Tiny Attic Productions. There’s one documenting each day of the festival.

The first captures the excitement of opening night and our gala the Jubilee, featuring thoughts from filmmaker Joe Callander (Life After Death), music from Bruiser Queen and gravity-defying performances by Les Trois Coups.

Friday’s video explores the March March parade and the @CTION! Party, with music from Jerusalem and the Starbaskets.

Saturday’s entry collects thoughts from filmmakers Sherief Elkatsha (Cairo Drive), Jesse Moss (The Overnighters) and Andrew Droz Palermo (Rich Hill) while utilizing music from Paul Rucker and Lone Piñon.

The final video focuses on the many invisible hands that build the fantastical world of the Fest. We go on a short tour of Neon Treehouse and Taylor Ross constructions, with music provided by Prahlad, MNDR and James Cathcart’s SPACE IS THE PLACE.

Posted March 11, 2014
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