This post is our collection of our favorite press coverage of True/False 2014. We’ll be adding more to it in the weeks ahead, as the articles continue to come in.
Lauren Sandler at the New York Times reported on our unique relationship with The Crossing, the Columbia Church which sponsors our True Life Fund.
Actress director Robert Greene wrote a piece in Filmmaker Magazine about debuting films at True/False, and our decision not to publicize screenings as “premieres”.
Local NPR affiliate KBIA talked with T/F education coordinator Polina Malikin about our educational program which introduces area high school students to documentary all school year long.
Noel Murray at The Dissolve looks at fact and fiction at True/False 2014. “True/False has built a reputation over its first decade of existence as one of the world’s more innovative, well-curated documentary festivals. That’s because True/False holds to a loose definition of what documentary means, making room for narrative features with documentary qualities, and non-fiction films that use expressive, fiction-like techniques.”
Eric Hynes wrote about the many “blurred lines” of True/False in an elegant piece for Moving Image Source. “Considering the dwindling theatrical market for documentaries, it’s hard to overestimate how important it is for a formally frisky filmmaker to be celebrated at a fest like True/False, to have his or her odd ducklings prized by and puzzled over by packed houses of doc-smart Midwesterners.”
Robert Green wrote a piece at Sight & Sound about True/False’s “slash mentality” and the “unclean cinema” we champion, including T/F 2013’s controversial film The Act of Killing. Don’t forget to check out the excellent video at the bottom!
Nick Pinkerton also covered the Fest for Sight & Sound, considering this year’s program as part of a changing landscape in documentary film. “There is a feeling of giddy upheaval in documentary, no longer aesthetically the redheaded stepchild of fiction.”
Ben Sachs reported on T/F 2014 for MUBI’s Notebook, highlighting the way the Fest melds with the city of Columbia. “The theme of True/False seems to be that nonfiction cinema, which takes its subject matter directly from life, is better-suited than other forms when it comes to ingratiating itself with the world at large.”
Sam Adams at Criticwire went meta, asking about what it means for T/F to pay for travel and lodging for critics covering the Fest. He also introduced the new video of “The Critical Takedown” panel, which he moderated.
Paul Dallas at indieWIRE wrote about the community ethos that makes True/False possible. “True/False has evolved in just over a decade from a rough-hewn upstart into a destination festival and arguably one of the most vital and exciting platforms for documentaries in North America. And it’s achieved this precisely by sticking to what it does best: making it all fun.”
Vadim Rizov of Filmmaker Magazine published two T/F diaries covering a selection of this year’s films. In the first, he looks at Approaching the Elephant, which “works as a parodic demonstration of a nascent democracy, as a portrait of feckless youth, and a study in how charismatic jerks abuse their leeway”, Demonstration, which he argues “finds middle ground between unflappable activist zeal and reactionary scorn” and the “hypnotic reverie” of Sacro GRA. In the second, he considers the “collaborative psychodrama” of Actress, Killing Time, “a patiently infuriating chronicle of Texas at its racially polarized worst”, and Boyhood, where “pain is quick, introduced early, fleetingly formative and not forgotten”.
Vadim also appeared in this video, getting together with three other film critics over drinks at Broadway Brewery. The foursome chatted about their favorite T/F 2014 films, The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga, Killing Time, Manakamana and Dusty Stacks of Mom, in this video created by Kevin Lee for Fandor.
Paige Pritchard at The Riveter wrote about five inspirational women at True/False, filmmaker Tracy Droz Tragos of Rich Hill, subject Fabiola Gianotti of Particle Fever, musician MNDR, T/F design master Camellia Cosgray and musician and community space coordinator Emily Downing.
And finally, KBIA’s True/False Conversations returned with another series of short chats with T/F filmmakers, available to either read or download as a podcast. In this series: