High School

Are you a high school student or teacher? Do you want to get involved with the Fest? 

Media Literacy Initiative

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 2018 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. For program details, head here. To apply, visit our application. Application deadline is August 31, 2017. 

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]

Camp True/False

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. The Boot Camp brings students with varying interests insider access the fest. Applications are distributed in all the public high schools each Fall, as well as online. 

For more information, please email [email protected] 

With generous support from Mizzou Advantage.

T/F 2016 Bootcamp from True/False Film Fest on Vimeo.



On the Friday morning of the Fest, 10th graders from across all four Columbia public high schools take busses to the Missouri Theatre where a busker greets them with music and they watch a festival film. Afterwards, students participate in a Q&A with a filmmaker and learn about the challenges and subject of the film. For many students, this is their first time in the Theatre and their first T/F experience.

After the screening, several hundred self-selected students walk a few blocks to the North Village Arts District where an afternoon of interactive artist workshops begin! Students break out into small groups and congregate at multiple artistic spaces and studios where a T/F filmmaker, artist, or musician leads a workshop. After a handful of workshops, we reconvene and get ready to march in the March March, T/F’s annual anybody-can-join parade.

Sign ups are now open for Columbia Public School high schoolers! Deadline: February 12, 2018. Sign up soon

With generous support from The Bertha Foundation and Columbia Public Schools Foundation.

T/F 2016 DIY DAY from True/False Film Fest on Vimeo.

True Life Fund

The True Life Fund demonstrates that documentaries can create change by offering tangible assistance to the subjects of a new nonfiction film. Each year, high school students raise money for the Fund, which goes directly to the subject(s) of the TLF film. In the past, students at Hickman, Rock Bridge, Douglass, and Battle have donated proceeds from their spring talent show to the Fund. High school students make a huge impact on the fund-- their combined support often equals a quarter (or more!) of the $30,000 we hope to raise each year.

Sponsored by The Crossing Church, with generous support from The Bertha Foundation.

Class Visits from T/F

T/F is happy to come to you!  If you want someone to come in and talk to your class or club about the Fest, how to get tickets, or this year’s films, we’ve got a whole team of volunteers ready to visit!  In the past, we’ve hosted discussions in Social Studies, Language Arts, Foreign Language, and Theatre classrooms, homerooms, and much more. For more information, contact Allison Coffelt.

In addition to fundraising, T/F brings the TLF director to all four high schools for an assembly in the days directly preceding the Fest.  In these meetings, the director plays clips of the film, gives background information, and answers questions from students.  It’s a unique opportunity for both the students and the director; both groups often say it’s favorite part of the Fest.

Educational Tickets

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. HERE is the form for requesting group tickets! Please note the brief window of time to submit requests. 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] to learn more.