True Life Fund

In 2007, True/False created the True Life Fund, a philanthropic effort that raises money and awareness for the subjects of a new nonfiction film each year. The True Life Fund allows us, as viewers, to respond to the stories we see on-screen and create change by offering tangible assistance to the real-life subjects of a new nonfiction film. It acknowledges that documentary filmmakers and festivals thrive because of the stories given to us by people who are often of limited means. The fund serves as a small way for us to repay that gift. Spotlighting one movie each year, we support and honor those who share their stories in front of the camera. Collaborating with filmmakers, whose intimate knowledge of their “characters” enables us to pinpoint needs, we work hard to make sure that this money is given and received with as much thought as possible.

The 2021 True Life Fund film is Sabaya

A still from Sabaya by Hogir Hirori, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lolav Media/Ginestra Film.

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This year’s TLF film, Sabaya, directed by Hogir Hirori, follows Mahmud and Ziyad, volunteers who run the Yazidi Home Center outside the Al-hol refugee camp on the Iraq/Syria border. Their attempts to liberate Yazidi women who are being held captive in Daesh-controlled refugee camps place them directly in harm’s way—including being shot at in a high-speed car chase. But their efforts are equaled by the young women who voluntarily return to the camp—at massive personal risk—to serve as informants and guides to the escapees.


The True Life Fund will be open for donations following the film announcement and through July 5. The Fund itself is comprised of thousands of individual gifts from festival attendees, made either in person at the screenings, online, by texting “TLF” to 202.858.1233, or by mailing a check made out to Ragtag Film Society with TLF on the memo line to: 5 S. 9th St. Columbia, MO 65201. Donations to the True Life Fund are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Funds raised for Sabaya will be sent to the production company in Sweden. They, in turn, will work to support the Yazidi Home Center and those who appear in the film.


Welcome to Chechnya

This vital and harrowing film confronts an ongoing genocide directed at the LGBTQ+ citizens of the republic of Chechnya. Director David France (How to Survive

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Midnight Traveler

Armed only with cellphone cameras, Hassan Fazili and his family flee from the Taliban, capturing every step of their high-stakes search for a new home.

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Two cousins, Rocio and Aldana, courageously transcend trauma through creative therapy in this True Life Fund selection. Presented by The Crossing

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This epic labor of love vividly spotlights one Philadelphia family’s highs and lows over the course of a decade. True Life Fund Film (Presented by

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Dead-set against being sold as a bride, a feisty Afghan refugee breaks loose to become a rapper.

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Private Violence

Opening with one of the the great nonfiction scenes ever, Private Violence immediately announces itself as far more than an issue-driven documentary. This is storytelling

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2012 True Life Fund Film. Filmmaker Lee Hirsch makes the bullying epidemic in American schools intensely personal, demonstrating how, for some kids, mere survival can

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Enemies of the People

2010 True Life Fund selection. On a mission to investigate and to also forgive the brutal murderers who perpetrated the Killing Fields of Cambodia, journalist

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