THE PAY THE ARTISTS! (PTA) INITIATIVE is part of a larger effort to create a sustainable ecosystem for nonfiction filmmakers, who often lose money bringing their work into the world. Festivals increasingly act as a de facto substitute for movie houses, and crowdfunding and foundation grants are often not enough to support getting one’s film out there. The True/False PTA program exists as a partial remedy to this problem.

Since 2014, PTA members have enabled T/F to award an honorarium to each visiting filmmaking team, in addition to covering all travel, lodging and meal expenses. In 2018, 39 filmmaking teams receive $765 each. We hope to increase this fund each year and eventually be able to offer $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.

2018 PTA! Members

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
Nancy and Ken Kranzberg

For more information about joining the PTA, please contact Jeremy Brown, at [email protected].


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 T/F Executive Director, Jeremy Brown, at 573.442.8783 or [email protected].

Many thanks our Legacy Fund supporters: 

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