Features & Shorts


True/False is a film festival in Columbia, Missouri, USA which strives to celebrate the best of international nonfiction. We are interested in authored work with a clear filmmaking vision and formal intention. When we watch films, we approach them as art. We open ourselves up to the sensorial and intellectual attributes of films, perking up when those elements truly surprise, challenge, and/or stimulate us, while also grappling with the ethical framework they present. We are skeptical of films that present humans in flat, simplistic ways, e.g. as experts, archetypes, or evidence, as well as films that reinforce traditional power structures, hateful, or hurtful stereotypes. We value imagination, risk-taking, and sensitivity. The artform we engage with is extremely young and we’re eager to encounter work that reveals new ways for us to instigate, to heal, to see and hear. A note on “creative nonfiction,” “docu-fiction,” and “hybrids”: Films are often slotted into two categories – documentary and fiction – we believe that every film falls somewhere in between.

We generally consider work that has been produced within a year of the festival i.e. for the 2025 Fest, we will prioritize work from 2024 and 2025.


Submissions for the 2025 Fest will open in the summer, with a regular deadline at the end of October, and a final deadline at the beginning of December. Filmmakers will be notified by early February.

Rates are as follows:

Regular deadline : features $50 (*students: $35), shorts $30 (students: $20)

Late deadline : features $95  (students: $70), shorts $60 (students: $45)

Features are defined as 40 minutes and above, shorts as less than 40 minutes.

Submission fees allow us to assess the work submitted to us with our full attention and the fees help cover the cost of our submission tracking system and staff’s time. Each submission receives a personalized notification letter from our curation team.

We understand that submission fees can be prohibitive to filmmakers for a variety of reasons and so in the interest of transparency and accessibility, our fee waiver process is outlined here. If you are able to afford the submission fee, please submit via our regular channels. If you are unable to afford the submission fee but would like us to consider your work, we will have a waiver form available where you can give us information about your film and why you think it would be a good fit for True/False. We can only provide limited fee waivers due to the amount of time it takes to assess work.

Some of the reasons we may offer a fee waiver include:

  • The film is a production of a country with a low production rate, a country with limitations on sending money to the US or a country with prohibitive exchange rates;
  • The filmmaker identifies as part of a group underrepresented in the field – including but not limited to BIPOC filmmakers, filmmakers with disabilities and LGBTQ+ filmmakers;
  • Although we don’t offer waivers for students who do not fulfill other criteria, we do offer a student discount, explained above


Before you share your film with us, we ask that you read the following explanation of our screening process and submission requirements.

Shorts, Features, and Everything In Between: Each year we screen around 40 feature-length projects and 25 short-form works. We are very open to mid-length films and series.

Filmmaker Attendance: Be advised that we require filmmaker attendance for feature-length selections, for which we provide airfare and hospitality and an appearance stipend from our Pay the Artists! Fund. 

Screening Process and Submission Fees: Please submit a direct link for us to view your work online, Vimeo, Frame.io, Dropbox, CineSend, etc. are all acceptable platforms. Please note that if your film is accepted to the festival, we will require a DCP to be made and sent to us by our print traffic deadline.

We charge a submission fee. The timetables and rates are outlined above. As rewarding as the screening process often is for our team, it nonetheless requires significant time and expense to undertake. Your submission fee makes it possible for us to fully consider every film, and pays for the process outlined below.

  • Recruitment and training for screening committee members. Our programmers and screening committee members are a tight-knit unit, meeting regularly to discuss the art of filmmaking as well as host in-depth discussions on film submissions, programming philosophy, and how to best ensure equity throughout our selection process.
  • A member of the screening committee watches your film in full and evaluates the work in a written review that is then read and evaluated by a member of the programming staff for further inquiry.
  • A personalized notification letter that acknowledges not just your name but what you’ve created.
  • A dedicated submissions coordinator on staff who oversees the entire pipeline, from macro to micro – answering questions from filmmakers and screeners, reading through your submission materials, assigning films, organizing screening committee meetings, participating in all programming meetings, ensuring notifications are sent, liaising with selected artists, and tracking every single step of the selection process up to the festival.

One of our main values at RFS is integrity. We practice decision-making, programming, and presentation with respect, accountability, and transparency. If you have any additional questions, please email [email protected].

Please note, in the interest of improving accessibility to our program we aim to offer screenings with open captions (OCAP) for English language films where possible. We also offer Fidelio audio description and Captiview closed captions where available. If your film is selected, we will be in touch regarding accessibility materials


Submissions for the 2025 fest will open this summer.