Boasting a new crop of documentaries that are fresh from recent festivals like Sundance and Toronto, as well as others that are, in the words of organizers, "appearing mysteriously before their official premieres elsewhere," the 2007 True/False Film Festival opens Thursday (March 1) in Columbia, MO at five venues around the Midwest college town. David Sington's "In The Shadow of The Moon," the new space travel documentary that debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival, will open the festival at the local Missouri Theater, kicking off a weekend of screenings, panels, parties and special events celebrating non-fiction films and filmmaking. The event will close on Sunday night with a sneak preview screening of Tamas Bojtor and Sybil Dessau's "American Shopper," a new film about the sport of "aisling" that was made in Columbia, Missouri.
More than 40 films are on tap for the weekend festival. Among the sneak previews are Aaron Woolf's "King Korn," described by the fest as the story of "two young city slickers who move to Iowa to grow an acre of the nation's most powerful crop, and follow their harvest to its final consumption as corn-fed meat, corn syrup sodas, and processed food." It will screen as part of the annual "Reel Gone Roundup," a distinctive benefit screening event held at the fest's makeshift Bullpen Cinema, built in the old Columbia Livestock Auction site adjoining the Bullpen Cafe on the outskirts of town. Other sneaks will include Gary Burns and Jim Brown's "Radiant City," Fergus O'Brien's "The Armstrongs," and Ashley Sabin and David Redmon's "Kamp Katrina," described as the story of "a flamboyant New Orleans resident who transforms her backyard into a tent city for fourteen Katrina victims." Three other secret screenings will showcase new films ahead of their premieres at other upcoming festivals.
On Saturday afternoon, the festival will launch its new True Life Fund initiative, aimed at giving "something back to those who appear in front of the camera." According to the festival, they will donate money to a fund set up to benefit the children featured in the documentary, screening as a secret showing. The filmmakers will be on hand for the Saturday afternoon Missouri Theater showing.
Brett Morgen ("The Kid Stays in the Picture," "On The Ropes") will be in Missouri to receive the annual True Vision Award, honoring a documentary filmmaker. He will screen clips from new and old work, including "Chicago 10," which opened the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and also participate in a program sneak previewing his Sundance Channel show, "Nimrod Nation."
Among the other films from Park City are Jason Kohn's award-winning "Manda Bala," Marco Williams' "Banished," Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's "The Devil Came on Horseback," Cynthia Wade's "Freeheld," Pernille Rose Gronkjaer's "The Monastery," Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine's "War Dance," and Robinson Devor's "Zoo," all from Sundance, as well as Seth Gordon's "The King of Kong" (which was acquired at Slamdance) and Luke Wolbach's "Row Hard No Excuses" (also from Slamdance).
Other highlights on tap for T/F 2007 include a screening of the classic doc "Night Mail," about the British mail train, with a live original soundtrack by New York avant-jazz group Gutbucket, and the return of the lively "Gimme Truth!" Game Show, a sort of cross between "What's My Line?" and "Truth or Consequences" that features a group of festival filmmaker contestants trying to determine whether a selection of short films made by Columbia locals are real or fake.
indieWIRE will publish a dispatch from Columbia, Missouri and the True/False Film Festival next week.