Gateway Packet Films 2018

Grabbing a Gateway Packet and want to do some planning? Here are the films that will be available to Gateway Packet purchasers, in handy grid format and a list of film descriptions.*

Just a reminder, the Gateway Packet gives you the unique ability to reserve any combination of three tickets (multiple tickets for one film, or single tickets for different films) online before the festival begins. Gateway sales will begin at 10am on February 20 and end at 6pm on February 23. Just a reminder that you select your films at the time of purchase, so have those wish lists ready!

*Note, these are the films that are available at the beginning of Gateway reservations! Some films may go NRT as reservations continue.



Posted February 19, 2018

2018 Schedule Grid with Reservation Blocks

Next level scheduling: we made a planning friendly grid so you can see the films you have to choose from in each time block! All that’s left is the choosing. Happy reservations, Lux-ers!

Click here for a print-friendly PDF



Posted February 16, 2018

2018 Films Announced


True/False Film Fest is proud to announce its 2018 slate of 40 new feature films that expand the boundaries of nonfiction and invite audiences to be challenged, inspired, and entertained.

These films were selected from roughly 1,300 submissions plus hundreds more scouted at festivals around the world. The festival seeks to highlight work that exhibits the highest levels of craft, tells untold stories and creatively advances the documentary form.


A half-dozen films will mark their festival debut at True/False. América, from filmmaking team Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll, tenderly portrays a playful trio of brothers who step up to take care of their grandmother in Colima, Mexico. In Black Mother, Khalik Allah takes audiences on a spiritual journey through Jamaica. Miles Lagoze’s Combat Obscura is the ultimate insider’s view of Marines in Afghanistan. Lovers of the Night, from Anna Frances Ewert, introduces Irish monks, holding on faithfully to their fragile monastery, as they confide their most profound secrets. Kim Hopkins’ Voices of the Sea takes viewers to a Cuban seaside where a couple must wrestle with whether to stay or go. The Task is Leigh Ledare’s provocation in which a confounding group of strangers cross-examine their tangled group dynamic.



Twelve other films are launching their stateside tours at True/False. Leilah Weinraub’s Shakedown is already being described as a “lo-fi Magic Mike XXL,” a raucous celebration of a black lesbian strip club. Flight of a Bullet is a revelatory, singular take on the war movie embedded within a controversial pro-Ukrainian group. Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami features the iconic singer as she magically dances between down-to-earth moments with her Jamaican family and pure transcendence on stage. Makala is an epic journey film set in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Four countries are represented for the first time within the True/False selection. From Uruguay, directors Adriana Loeff and Claudia Abend observe a prickly marriage in La Flor de la Vida. Both The Family, Rok Bi?ek’s intimate decade-long study of a young father, and Playing Men, Matjaž Ivanišin’s lush survey of regional games and sports, hail from Slovenia. Dieudo Hamadi’s Kinshasa Makambo follows the efforts of a group of young activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Next Guardian, co-directed by Dorottya Zurbó and Arun Bhattarai, delivers a charming story of two siblings in Bhutan.



2018 continues with the fest’s most internationally diverse lineup ever. This includes a far-ranging group of films from Argentina (Primas), Chile (Adriana’s Pact), Brazil (Gabriel and the Mountain), Mexico (Artemio), Romania (António e Catarina), France (Makala), Germany (Lovers of the Night), the UK (American Animals, Voices of the Sea, Three Identical Strangers, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, and Westwood), Syria (Of Fathers and Sons), China (Taming the Horse and Self-Portrait: Birth in 47KM), and Russia (Flight of a Bullet).


As in past editions, this year’s True/False lineup features a selection of fiction films in conversation with their nonfiction brethren. American Animals is a white-knuckled heist film from director Bart Layton (The Imposter). In The Rider, a breathtaking new film from Chloé Zhao, a young cowboy’s family and friends portray versions of themselves as Zhao traces a script around the experiences of her non-professional actors. Gabriel and the Mountain, from Brazilian director Fellipe Barbosa, retraces his adventurous friend’s last days in East Africa with the help of the real people who met him.


And last, but certainly not least, the latest edition of the festival features films from two frequent visitors – Robert Greene returns for a record fifth time with Bisbee ‘17, a wildly creative look at labor history in Arizona. And Morgan Neville (Oscar-winner with 20 Feet From Stardom) presents his fourth T/F feature, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (presented by Veterans United), a cultural history of Fred Rogers. And True/False will feature first-time feature director Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers as the post-parade Reality Bites screening.


Additional announcements to come include the release of our shorts slate tomorrow, Thursday, February 8; and the full schedule on Saturday, February 10.





Posted February 7, 2018



We’re delighted to announce filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi as the recipient of our 2018 True Vision Award in honor of his advancement of nonfiction filmmaking.

True Vision is the only award given out at the fest. Hamadi is the 15th recipient of this honor. Last year, the award was given to French director Claire Simon. Other winners of the True Vision Award include Laura Poitras (2010), Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel (2013), and Adam Curtis (2015).



In his young yet brilliantly fruitful career, Hamadi has intimately documented the social realities of his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his work, he vividly explores the ways humans respond to systems that are rigged against them, particularly when they decide to face them together. His camera is perpetually attentive to group dynamics and to the extraordinary energy of communal spaces.

True/False will spotlight Hamadi’s newest film, Kinshasa Makambo, premiering this month at the Berlinale, as well as National Diploma (2014) in which determined students band together to pass a high-stakes graduate exam. Kinshasa Makambo is a tense, perceptive documentary that unfolds in the DRC, where courageous young revolutionaries rally to rescue their country from the autocratic grip of President Kabila.


Kinshasa Makambo


Originally a student of medicine, Hamadi made his film debut in 2010 with “Ladies in Waiting,” (co-directed with Divita Wa Lusala). An unsettling portrait of a maternity ward, “Ladies in Waiting” opened the celebrated anthology film Congo In Four Acts. Hamadi then directed several features, including 2013’s Atalaku and 2016’s Mama Colonel, which screened at the Berlinale Forum, where it won the Independent Jury Prize, and Cinéma du Réel, where it won the Grand Prix.

Because of political turmoil in the DRC, the festival will conduct skype Q&As with Hamadi, while Kinshasa Makambo’s producer Quentin Laurent will attend.


The award is presented with support from Restoration Eyecare. The award is designed and cast in bronze by local Mid-Missouri artist Larry Young.

Posted February 6, 2018


True/False presents the third year of Provocations: a curated selection of incendiary thinkers. These whip-smart presenters will appear before feature films, injecting a mini “ideas-fest” into True/False, offering challenging ideas in five-minute blasts. These five individuals stand ready to rearrange worldviews with the power of their words.

Aja Romano: Drawing upon her background in fandom, Aja writes about internet culture for Vox. Her reporting provides insights into geek culture from fanfiction enclaves to the dark recesses of Reddit.

Danny Giles: Originally hailing from Columbia, Danny is now based in Chicago where he works as an interdisciplinary artist and educator. His performances at distinguished museums and galleries question the power dynamics of systems.

Miko Revereza: Since relocating from Manila as a child, Miko has lived undocumented in the United States for almost 25 years. His films and writing grapple with his long-­term problems with documentation and the exclusion it imposes.

Nicole He: Nicole uses technology to make art about technology. She playfully transforms both digital mediums and physical objects to explore the relationship between humans and computers with interactivity and humor.

Paul Bloom: A prominent psychologist, Paul’s latest book is Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion. His groundbreaking work convincingly makes counterintuitive arguments about morality, religion, art, and how we understand the world.





On the Sunday morning of the Fest, the five piquant Provocateurs, along with some special guests, will gather to present their provocations at the Chautauqua, an event named after the adult education movement popular in the 19th and 20th century. Like early Chautauquas, True/False’s event comes complete with music and storytelling. It will be held at Rhynsburger Theatre and tickets are required for this event. 

Posted February 2, 2018


At this year’s True/False, the Fest collaborates with writer and programmer Ashley Clark on a celebration of the Black Audio Film Collective. This retrospective is a part of the festival’s Neither/Nor sidebar, a celebration of groundbreaking film movements that have evolved the discourse surrounding nonfiction cinema. This year’s Neither/Nor program is again presented with the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.



Formed in 1982, the Collective consisted of seven multidisciplinary and multimedia artists who came together at university and proceeded to collaborate throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With backgrounds in fields such as psychology, sociology and fine art, the Collective approached cinema in a way that was intellectually rigorous, inventive and expressive. Their breakthrough work, 1986’s Handsworth Songs, considered the complex causes and simplistic depictions of civil unrest in Birmingham and London. It aired on Channel 4 and sparked a debate in The Guardian between Salman Rushdie and Stuart Hall, the latter praising the film for its original techniques and for “making us look in new ways.” Later that year, the film received the British Film Institute’s prestigious Grierson Award for Best Documentary.


In later works, the Collective explored a vast array of topics, including post-colonialism, Afrofuturism, movement building and migration. As Clark writes, the Collective — namely John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul, Reece Auguiste, Edward George, Avril Johnson, Trevor Mathison, and Claire Joseph, who was replaced in 1985 by David Lawson — embarked on “a relentless quest to harness the African diaspora’s kaleidoscopic thought-power to combat white supremacy as a historical, economic and conceptual form of oppression.”


Who Needs a Heart?


During the festival, Clark is presenting four films from the collective’s catalogue: Handsworth Songs, Testament, Twilight City and Who Needs a Heart. These screenings, which begin on February 28 at the Ragtag Cinema and continue throughout the weekend, will be followed by discussions with Black Audio Film Collective members and collaborators, including Reece Auguiste, as well as sound artists Trevor Mathison and Gary Stewart. The full lineup will be announced in mid-February. Additionally, the festival is publishing a monograph featuring new essays by Clark, as well as interviews he’s conducted with Black Audio Film Collective members and associates. This monograph will be available for free at various venues in downtown Columbia and will later be published online.

“We’re beyond thrilled to be working with Ashley, whose brilliant and vibrant monograph draws unsettling parallels between Great Britain circa 1981 and today,” True/False programmer Chris Boeckmann says. “By and large, contemporary nonfiction filmmaking has yet to pursue the exhilarating creative possibilities opened up by the Black Audio Film Collective. We look forward to celebrating and discussing their generous, stimulating work.”


Clark is the senior programmer of cinema at BAM in Brooklyn, a position he has occupied since August 2017. He was the programmer of Black Star (BFI Southbank, Oct-Dec 2016; TIFF, Nov-Dec 2017), a major film season dedicated to exploring the range, versatility and power of black actors, and co-programmer of Making Faces on Film: a Collaboration with BFI Black Star (Museum of Modern Art, April 2017), a complementary New York edition. As a journalist, Clark has written extensively on film and culture for The Guardian, Sight & Sound, Reverse Shot, Village Voice and Film Comment; and his first book is Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (The Critical Press, 2015). Ashley is also a broadcast journalist, and moderator.


This is the fifth edition of Neither/Nor, a program dedicated to scholarship and programming of vital movements that shift the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. Earlier editions have explored the legacy of the controversial Mondo film industry and the inspiring work of artists who found creative ways to defy censorship in communist Poland. Head here to read past Neither/Nor monographs.

Posted February 1, 2018


Music touches every part of the festival: Buskers play sets before film showings, headline evening showcases, DJ late-night dance parties, ignite the annual parade, and pop-up on street corners and balconies for impromptu shows. This stylistically diverse cohort of musicians ranges from deep-South authentic blues to indie folk to progressive funk.  Preview their music here or on our program page:



At its core, this year’s lineup boasts strong singer-songwriters whose music breathes new life into old forms.  Formerly of Paper Bird, Esmé Patterson headlines the Saturday Night Afterparty at Rose Music Hall with her heartfelt folk-pop. Opening is the captivating Mobley, who returns to True/False with his “post-genre pop.”



Ada Lea from Montreal, plays lo-fi, garage rock that’s a manic murmur meant to stir the soul. Lomelda, an indie creative force with pure vocals, arresting melodies, and longing lyrics, joins Ada Lea on the Thursday of the Fest to close out Cafe Berlin.

Mauno is a four-piece baroque pop band from Halifax whose powerful rhythms are cradled by dreamy harmonies.  Powerhouse duo, Ohmme shares the bill with them Friday night at Cafe Berlin, along with the enigmatic Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, an up-and-coming Chicago DIY scene multi-instrumentalist weirdo rapper.



Pinkcaravan!’s rap features a bubbly beat and lyrics that read like a dark children’s book. Her album a very sad happy birthday is a coming-of-age that unravels with vivid phrases and a wide-eyed sound. St. Louis native 18andCounting, who collages deep, resonant rhymes, rounds out the Saturday Night Showcase at Cafe Berlin.

This edition of the fest reinvents the Friday Night After Party at The Blue Note as Dâm-Funk, the “Funkosphere” proselytizer who has infused blues & soul into the Los Angeles dance scene, instigates a blur of bodies and beats.



If you want easy access to all of the music True/False has in store, Busker Bands are on sale nowBusker Bands are great by themselves or with a Simple Pass or Sunday Spree.

For information on all of the artists appearing at the fest, head to the program page. Stay tuned for the finalized lineup of concerts and showcases.

Posted January 31, 2018


True/False brings a multitude of talented visual artists from near and far to reinvent venues and transform the City for the four days during True/False. What began as a visual backdrop for the festival fourteen years ago is now an integral part of the weekend. Each art installation responds to the festival’s visual theme, an annual process that results in a city-wide exhibition of visual art in conversation. For 2018, the visual theme is WHETHER | WEATHER. Weather and whether are two of the more evocative words in the English language and both words converse with today’s political and meteorological climate. The future is unclear, but these visual artists conjure thoughtful observations and insightful commentary from this prompt.


Art installations permeate every corner of the festival, including theaters, concert venues, and alleyways. This year, three pieces will also be featured in the 9th Street closure between Locust and Elm: Pneuhaus, a Rhode-island based design collective specializing in spatial design, temporary structures, and contemporary art, will exhibit Atmosphere, a new immersive inflatable structure that interplays light, space and vapor, the most basic components of weather. Daniel Heggarty, Joseph Fischer, and Mark Steck bring Gyro-Kinetic Home, a tiny house suspended and capable of rotating in essentially any direction, reflecting on the tumultuous impact that inclement weather can have on our homes. In Radar Walk, Carrie Elliott turns weather patterns often seen, felt and witnessed for tenants of the Midwest into physical radar maps that might remind folks of past weather events, or harken to possible future events



Projection artists Jordan Doig and Stephanie Gould are featured in this year’s Great Wall, True/False’s nightly outdoor video art installation at Ninth and Locust; their piece, disruptive, shows the dissonance that is created when patterns are compromised. At the infamous (and newly named) Re@ction party, video work leaps off the screen and onto the walls with Sasha Goodnow, Becca Sullinger, and Anna Neal’s video and installation Year of the Crone, a rallying cry to help our earth and each other.



True/False will also feature Screen by Alia Ali; hung from the high-ceilings of Jesse Hall, Ali has created a series of screens representing the C, M and Y color model. Through screen and projection, Ali’s work comments on the perception of reality via information viewed through the screens of devices. The lobby of the Picturehouse will be adorned with a veritable swarm of Cicadas hand-crafted by sisters Mollie, Zoe, and Emily Hosmer-Dillard along with some talented Missouri elementary school students. In the Missouri Theatre lobby, Propagation, Paul Kirby and Steven Krejciks’ towering installation, consists of a robotic tree constructed with detritus and other reclaimed materials that will respond to the viewers’ investigation.



For a complete list of the 2018 art installations, head here. Attendees can also participate in a walking tour of art installations with the ineffable Gabriel Williams. Art Walks take place the Saturday & Sunday of the Fest, stay tuned for the schedule.

Posted January 24, 2018



Columbia, Missouri – The 2018 selection for the True/False True Life Fund film is Primas from filmmaker Laura Bari. The True Life Fund will benefit the film’s two valiant subjects: Rocío Álvarez and Aldana Bari Gonzalez. True/False’s yearly crowd-sourced initiative serves as a tangible way of thanking documentary subjects. It acknowledges that documentary filmmakers and festivals thrive because of the stories given to us by people who are often of limited means.



Primas is an evocative portrait of two Argentinian cousins who free themselves from the shadows of violent pasts. The teenagers travel to Montreal with the guidance of their aunt and the film’s director, Laura Bari.  While there, they participate in transformative creative arts therapy. With dance, mime, theatre, circus and visual arts, they reveal their imagination and unshakable resilience.

Primas is Laura Bari’s second film to screen at True/False. Bari attended True/False 2010 with the playful Antoine about a five-year-old blind boy who dabbles in detective work. Bari’s warm, collaborative approach to filmmaking shines in Primas. At its core, the film is a tender confessional expressed with spell-binding courage.


This marks the 12th year of the True Life Fund, and the 11th year that the film has been presented by The Crossing, a local church in Columbia.  The True Life Fund itself is comprised of thousands of individual gifts and support from the Bertha Foundation. In 2018, True/False aims to raise more than $20,000 for Rocío and Aldana to support their future artistic and collegiate endeavors. In the spirit of bringing audience support to story sharing, True/False is also seeking donations of airline miles to help subsidize their flight expenses.


For more information about giving, visit During the Fest, donations will be received via text at (573) 818-2151 and through donations at True/False screenings.

Posted January 17, 2018

Announcing True Life Fund Film & The Alethea Project

On Wednesday, January 17th at 9:00AM CST we’ll announce the 2018 True Life Fund film and recipient.  We invite members of the press & community to join us for a brief press conference held at The Crossing to discuss the film, the fund, and a new True/False endeavor: The Alethea Project.

The Alethea Project is a 10-week traveling documentary screening series that will take place in large evangelical churches around the Midwest and West. The series will begin in the Fall of 2018 when representatives from True/False and The Crossing visit churches and screen recent nonfiction films with topics that invite robust post-screening discussions among filmmakers, a moderator, and a representative from the church. Film topics will include race in America, climate change, refugees and immigration, healthcare and health crises, the death penalty, guns control, sexuality and gender. 

In 2009, The Crossing joined the True/False Film Fest in presenting the True Life Fund: a crowd-sourced award to honor the subject(s) of a single documentary and thank them for sharing their story. Described in depth by Christianity Today and the New York Times, the True Life Fund allowed these surprising partners to find common values and build a framework of trust and cooperation that benefit both.

The Alethea Project is funded in part by the Bertha Foundation and Impact Partners and is currently seeking additional funders.



The press conference will be held by True/False co-director David Wilson and Crossing co-pastor Dave Cover. They will discuss the project, partnership, show a clip from the True Life Fund film, and answer questions. The event will also be streamed live on The Crossing’s Facebook page. Both organizations invite those unable to attend to watch online and ask questions via Facebook (@TheCrossingCoMo) or Twitter (@truefalse).

The press conference will take place in room 227 at The Crossing. The Crossing is located at 3615 Southland Drive, Columbia, Missouri 65203. To access room 227 please park in the main lot and enter through the south facing doors. Follow signs to room 227.


For more information about the True Life Fund, visit
For more information about the Alethea Project, visit

Posted January 12, 2018
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