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. 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.

2024 TRUE LIFE FUND

The 2024 True Life Fund film is Three Promises, directed by Yousef Srouji, and the recipient of this year’s Fund is Yousef and his family. Three Promises reveals the reality of a Christian family in early 2000s Palestine through home movies shot by Yousef’s mother, Suha. She picked up her camera as a way to cope with the Second Intifada while living in the West Bank and after two decades, her son re-lives the years-long siege that disrupted his childhood through his mother’s eyes. The film speaks to a mother’s love, the meaning of home, and survival amidst the worst circumstances. Each year, with mostly small cash donations, festival participants contribute roughly $20,000 to directly impact the subjects of the TLF film. This year, attendees have the opportunity to make a direct impact on the life and work of Yousef Srouji.

Through the True Life Fund, True/False acknowledges the contributions of documentary subjects—this year, that takes the shape of dedication to sharing personal stories in the face of state violence and providing lasting testimonies of historical moments. The film highlights one family’s experience but it is also reflective of the experience of many others during conflict, both in Palestine and around the world. 

Donations to the True Life Fund recipient are collected at all screenings, online, or via text-to-give between January and April. 

DONATE TO THE FUND

The 2024 True Life Fund campaign is now closed. Thank you for your support! Keep an eye out for the 2025 TLF film & honoree next year!

 

In addition to text-to-give and in person at the screenings, donations can be made online or by mailing a check made out to Ragtag Film Society with TLF on the memo line to: 28 N. 8th Street, Suite 308. Donations to the True Life Fund are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

HISTORY

Three Promises

A filmmaker excavates the hidden childhood home movies recorded by his mother during the tumultuous early 2000s in the West Bank.

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The Territory

The dangerous documentation efforts undertaken by the Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous surveillance team are essential to preserving their way of life and Indigenous land in Brazil. This

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Sabaya

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

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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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Primas

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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Quest

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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Sonita

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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Bully

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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