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.

2023 True Life Fund

The TLF film is Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler’s Bad Press

Although it is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, freedom of the press is not always guaranteed for indigenous journalists based in the sovereign nations across the US. When the Free Press Bill of 2015 was repealed in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in an effort to regulate the news and reporting, Mvskoke Media lost their independent editorial board and suddenly editorial decisions were overseen by the Secretary of the Nation and Commerce. Directors Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler, follow fearless Mvskoke Media journalist Angel Ellis, who seeks to expose the news censorship and advocate for free press protections. A dedicated journalist willing to fight for what’s right, Ellis hones in on investigating instances of fraud and corruption by Tribal leadership as the Muscogee Nation’s important Chief primary elections are approaching and the newspaper continues to face censorship.

The True Life Fund itself comprises thousands of individual gifts from festival attendees, which can be made in person at the screenings or by texting TLF to 53555 through April 30, 2023. Funds raised will go to film subject Angel Ellis, who will be in attendance at the Fest. 



In addition to text-to-give and in person at the screenings, donations can be made online below, or by mailing a check made out to Ragtag Film Society with TLF on the memo line to: 5 S. Ninth St. Columbia, MO 65201. Donations to the True Life Fund are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.


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, 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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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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