Pay The Artists!

The PAY THE ARTISTS! (PTA) INITIATIVE is part of a larger effort to create a sustainable ecosystem for nonfiction filmmakers, whose work rarely gets a wide theatrical run. Festivals, more and more, are acting as a de facto substitute for movie houses. Crowdfunding and foundation grants are often not enough to bring a film into the world.

The PTA exists as a partial remedy to this problem. In 2014, the initiative's inaugural year, PTA members gave $450 each to 36 filmmaking teams who attended the festival, in addition to helping T/F pay for all travel, lodging, and meals. In 2015, that number grew to $500 for 37 feature filmmaking teams. In 2016, that number increased once again to $600 for 35 features, and in 2017, we gave $700 to 35 filmmaking teams. We hope to grow this fund each year and, eventually, to be able to offer stipends of $1,000 per filmmaker.

The PTA is a tangible way to invest in filmmakers doing great films over the long haul. With it, T/F is seeding a movement of supportive institutions who invest in nonfiction filmmaking futures. We hope that, for more new filmmakers, nonfiction is not merely a launching pad to commercial or fiction work but a viable career path.

T/F is committed to this egalitarian approach of spreading the wealth rather than focusing on isolated awards.

We see ourselves as a petri dish for trying out ideas, including how to best serve filmmakers. The PTA is an experiment, but also a crucial corrective to the lack of resources for independent filmmakers. While the amounts may seem token at first, we see the PTA a growing, important commitment to do more care and feeding of the filmmakers we believe in. If we are not all engaged in making independent filmmaking a sustainable enterprise, we will lose the very voices we exist to champion.

Funds for the PTA are provided through generous three-year financial commitments from patrons who care deeply about the future of nonfiction filmmaking. Half of the funds are given directly to filmmakers, and half are used to support the programming activities of the festival.


Holly Roberson and John Goldstein

Pete Kingma and Thom Lambert

Maida Lynn

Jonathan Murray

Amanda and Matthew VanderTuig

J.A. and H.G Woodruff Jr. Charitable Trust


For more information about joining the PTA, please contact Lisa Schwartz, Development Director, at



Ragtag Film Society Legacy Fund

The Ragtag Film Society Legacy Fund was established in 2013 by Bill Bondeson and Linda Butterfield Cupp. It will serve as long-term assurance that Ragtag Cinema and True/False Film Fest will live on in this community.

The goals of the fund are to:

  1. Assure the long-term health, vitality and sustainability of the cinema and fest.
  2. Provide a robust educational media literacy program to Columbia youth.
  3. Assure the cinema and fest remain affordable for the average Columbia resident.

The minimum contribution to this fund is $5,000 in cash or stock.

If you are interested in joining the Legacy contributors, or if you'd like to meet to further discuss in person, please contact Ragtag Executive Director, Tracy Lane, at (573)441-8504 or

Thank you very much to our Legacy donors thus far:

  • Bill Bondeson and Linda Butterfield Cupp
  • Diane Booth and Jeanne Sebaugh
  • Ron and Judy Carter
  • Kathleen Ehrhardt
  • Barbara Fairman
  • Michael and Emy Friedman
  • Bill and Barb Froke
  • Joanne Fulton
  • Barry and Pam Gainor
  • Betsy Garrett
  • Carol Hurt
  • Aaron and Nikki Krawitz
  • Doris Littrell
  • Amy McCombs
  • Ann and David Mehr
  • R. Michael and Susan E. Roberts
  • Jerry and Judy Schermer
  • Sally Silvers
  • Tom Smith
  • Vicky Riback Wilson
  • Harriet and Bill Yelon
  • D&BJ Family