High School


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.

Stay in the loop with the initiative’s goings-on via our website news, newsletter, and social media channels
Questions? Contact Director of Community Partnerships & Education, Kelly Famuliner.


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. Camp True/False brings high school students together for a curated track through the Fest. In the months leading up to the Fest, students meet regularly to explore documentary through film screenings, guest lectures, and discussions. During the Fest, students see films, engage with filmmakers, and create art of their own. Applications for Camp True/False 2020 open October 15th, 2019. Due to the limited amount of spots available, applications are provided upon request.

To request an application or for questions about all things Camp, contact our Coordinator of Community Partnerships & Education, Josh Runnels.


On the Friday morning of the Fest, 10th graders from across all four Columbia public high schools––approximately 1,300 students––take busses to the University of Missouri’s Jesse Auditorium, where a busker greets them with music and they attend a film screening. Afterwards, students participate in a Q&A with the filmmaker and learn about the challenges and subject of the film. For many students, this is their first True/False experience! In 2021, the Ed Screening will take place virtually, prior to the Fest.


DIY Day is our specially crafted field trip for high school students on the Friday of the Fest. 125 students pan out across studios and creative spaces in Columbia’s North Village Arts District for an afternoon of 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. Afterwards, students and teachers gather to reflect on their experiences and prepare to join the raucous March March, True/False’s anyone-can-join parade. A list of DIY Day 2020 workshops can be found here.

DIY Day is supported by the Columbia Public Schools Foundation.


Every year, the True Life Fund film representatives, often the director(s) and subject(s), visit all four Columbia Public High Schools: Douglass, Battle, Rock Bridge, and Hickman. At these assemblies, the director plays film clips and engages in discussion that includes the filmmaking process—from idea conception to screening and everything in between. Often, the students dedicate one of their spring fundraising campaigns to the True Life Fund. 

 Questions? Contact our Director of Community Partnerships & Education, Kelly Famuliner.


We’re excited to offer a special window of time for students and educators to reserve a set of group tickets to a Fest film! The educational ticket buy is 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.


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] to learn more.