With a second round of film announcements, the True/False Film Fest completes its lineup of three special programs with the True Life Fund and True Vision Award selections. The 17th annual True Life Fund Film will be Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler’s Bad Press, and the 20th annual True Vision honoree will be Victoria Linares Villegas. Victoria’s latest film, Ramona, will screen at the festival alongside a retrospective program.
As previously announced, the 2023 Show Me True/False selection is Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn’s Going Varsity in Mariachi.
TRUE LIFE FUND
Since 2007, the True Life Fund has served to foreground film subjects and offers space at the Fest where audiences can show collective gratitude for the massive amount of time and energy—often uncompensated—that goes into sharing one’s story through film. While fundraising is focused around a single film each year, the TLF represents the essential role of film subjects—and/or characters—in the lineup.
Artistic Director Chloé Trayner says, “Bad Press takes us to the frontline of the battle for the freedom of press for indigenous journalists and introduces us to the fearless Angel Ellis. The film sheds light on a little known and important struggle, and in the form of an on-the-ground investigation, we see the incredible work that Angel and her colleagues at Mvskoke Media are doing to fight for their right to report without censorship.” As a reporter in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation striving to protect journalistic integrity, Ellis’ dedication to transparency is a threat to her livelihood and her own story affirms just how high the stakes are.
The True Life Fund sponsor, Paytient Technologies, is a healthcare payment company headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. Partnering with employers, insurers, and leading healthcare providers, they work to make it easier for people to access and pay for care. Spokesperson Laura Cave shares, “we are proud to sponsor the True Life Fund because we believe in the healing powers of story and art to help us understand each other better and live healthier lives.”
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 53-555 between now and April 30. Funds raised will go toward helping film subject Angel Ellis, who will be present at the Fest. For more about the True Life Fund, visit truelifefund.org.
TRUE VISION AWARD
Victoria Linares Villegas is an award-winning Dominican filmmaker whose interests lie in telling queer stories regarding transgenerational trauma and sociopolitical oppression. True/False is delighted to honor her achievements in and contribution to the field of nonfiction filmmaking with the 2023 True Vision Award.
Victoria’s debut non-fiction film, It Runs in the Family, had its world premiere at True/False before heading on to BFI Flare, BAFICI, Outfest LA, and Guanajuato International Film Festival. The film has won best documentary at the Fine Arts Film Festival in Dominican Republic, Best New Director by the Youth Jury at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Best Film as decided by the Youth Jury at the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival, and Best Documentary Film Runner-up at the Outshine Film Festival.
In addition to bringing It Runs in the Family (T/F 2022) back to screen as part of the True Vision retrospective program, Victoria will curate and present a film that was influential in forming her own approach to filmmaking, which will be announced with the full film lineup. Her second feature film, Ramona, will have its world premiere later this month at Berlinale before arriving in Missouri.
True Vision is the only award given at True/False. Past honorees include Juan Pablo González (2022), Rosine Mbakam (2021), Bill and Turner Ross (2020), Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda (2019), and Dieudo Hamadi (2018). The True Vision Award is sponsored by Dr. Timothy McGarity of Restoration Eye Care. For more about the True Vision Award, visit truefalse.org/true-vision-award.