“How ‘bout that weather?!”

That most prosaic of conversation starters has, of late, become more exciting/troubling, thus inspiring this year’s theme Whether|Weather. “Weather” is both ubiquitous and forever unknowable, taunting us with looming storms that will either strike or diverge. Computer-modeling forecasts may have gotten more refined a few decades back, but as any cynical weather-watcher can vouch, binary circuitry is outmatched by our planet’s infinite vagaries.

“Whether” has to do with contingency, the way we unreliably predict our slippery future. It also summons infinite possibilities, an idea that resonates for True/False as we enthusiastically draw a big circle around two polar opposites. Many of us crave a discourse that dodges the duality of this fake choice, one that grapples with in-between-ness. And while we wait and work for a more nuanced, more hopeful future, we are glad to be sharing this present moment with the filmmakers, musicians, artists, and provocateurs joining us from around the world.

Our True Vision Award honoree, Dieudo Hamadi, hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a country undergoing severe political turmoil. His latest film Kinshasha Makambo tracks activists desperately strategizing to achieve regime change. This may seem as impossible as changing the weather, but it’s through dogged, everyday efforts like theirs that immovable objects start to shift. Our True Life Fund recipients, Rocío  and Aldana, look to the micro rather than the macro, but their struggles feel as daunting. But unwilling to be mere passive observers of their own lives, they reject the winds of circumstance, seizing their destinies through innovative art therapy.

The urge to build, and willingness to rebuild, in the face of terrifying weather, may not be uniquely Midwestern, but we’d be lost without the steadfast and level-headed support of staff, volunteers, sponsors, and a town that has come to love nonfiction filmmaking. We all need a weekend of rejuvenation and hope, and so let’s create it together. As they say, there’s strength in our union, no matter what lies ahead:


“Whether the weather be cold / Or whether the weather be hot, / We'll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, / Whether we like it or not!”



Paul Sturtz and David Wilson