In early 2016, Columbia Public Schools, Ragtag Film Society, and the Columbia Public Schools Foundation announced a new, landmark multi-year partnership that brings together film, the CPS curriculum, and teacher training. Our Media Literacy initiative is a year-round program that supports teacher efforts to incorporate more film and multimedia into their classrooms.

We believe that as we catapult into a world of ever-changing media, distribution platforms, and news outlets, we owe our students the skills to be thoughtful, critical consumers of media. They deserve the tools to think consciously about the ways their world is presented to them and the ways they present their world. Our primary goals are to increase the presence of film in core classrooms, help teachers and students learn to read film as text, and to cultivate and enhance critical thinking skills as teachers and students practice analyzing new media.

After a successful pilot year, we’re now accepting applications from interested teachers for the 2019 season! We’re seeking teachers eager to incorporate more film / media literacy into their classrooms and who are able to commit to the meeting and training schedule with minimal absences.  Applications for the 2018-2019 Media Literacy Initiative are currently closed. Stay tuned, applications for the 2019-2020 Media Literacy Initiative will be available in Summer 2019!

Stay in the loop with the initiative’s goings-on via our website news, newsletter, and social media channels
Questions? Contact our Education Director at: [email protected]


Each year, a select group of high school students dive deeply into the True/False Film Fest and experience a weekend of exciting films, music, art, conversations, and workshops with a diverse crew of exceptional guests and local hosts. Starting a couple months before the festival, the Boot Camp convenes to prepare for the fest, discuss relevant issues, share research, and plot their course. Camp T/F brings students with varying interests insider access the fest.


DIY Day is our specially crafted field trip for high school students on the Friday of the Fest. 200 students pan out across 12 studios and creative spaces in the North Village Arts District for hands-on workshops hosted by festival artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Students create their own “alternative career-day,” where they both learn about the artist’s work and how to craft a creative life. Then after a recap, students and teachers join the raucous March March! parade. For more about DIY Day 2019, including a list of workshops, head here


Every year, the True Life Fund film representative visit Douglass, Battle, Rock Bridge, and Hickman high schools. At these assemblies, the director plays film clips and engages in discussion that ranges from geography to history. Often, the students dedicate one of their spring fundraising campaigns to the True Life Fund.  It’s a unique opportunity for both the students and the director; both groups often say it’s favorite part of the Fest.


This year, we’re again excited to offer a special window of time, exclusively for educational tickets, for students or educators to reserve a bulk ticket order. This is especially great for teachers who would like to attend a particular film with a class or clubs and organizations who want to see a film as a group. Come February, there will be a short window of time for group ticket requests. The form for group ticket requests can be found here (when available) and distributed among interested groups. For more information, contact [email protected].


Of course, you can volunteer! There are plenty of teams that need enthusiastic, committed, responsible volunteers. Dive into the volunteer app or email [email protected]false.org to learn more.