Come engage in discussions of the magic of reality with invited T/F guests. All conversations take place at the Odd Fellows Lodge, except for Arthouse to the Statehouse which is at Ragtag in the Willy Wilson Theater. Eager for even more dialogue? Pre-fest, plan to attend the Based on a True Story Conference at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Unless otherwise noted, all festival conversations are free and open to the public. The BOATS conference is free with registration for all Super Circle and Silver Circle passholders. 

Presented by SEED&SPARK 

The Critical Takedown
Friday, Feb 28 / 10:00AM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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
Friday, Feb 28 / 12:00PM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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
Friday, Feb 28 / 2:00PM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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.

Arthouse to Statehouse
Saturday, Mar 1 / 10:00AM / Little Ragtag

Documentary filmmaking can be a purpose-driven act for filmmakers with multiple bottom lines - including social change. Increasingly, films come pre-built to raise awareness and effect change. But how can a nonfiction film with a less obvious agenda build an effective outreach plan and engage audiences in action? Emily Verellen of the Fledgling Fund takes on Rich Hill as a case study and invites crowd participation in strategizing how that film will find its audience, from the arthouse to the statehouse.

Beyond Pretty Pictures
Saturday, Mar 1 / 10:15AM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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
Saturday, Mar 1 / 12:00PM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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
Saturday, Mar 1 / 2:30PM / Odd Fellows Lodge

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. Presented by Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at Mizzou.