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True/False Film Festival


True/False Film Festival

It's late Winter in a small town in Missouri that's about two hours equidistant from the closest major airports ( in Kansas City and St. Louis), but the still young True/False Film Festival has nevertheless made a name for itself within the American (and even international) documentary film world, and it also has a reputation for being one of the most fun fests of its size - or any size. The fest's energetic co-heads, David Wilson and Paul Sturtz, go out of their way to be hospitable and, in contrast to what an outsider may think, this is no stodgy doc event. Local indie bands play as audiences gather in venues, and T/F's main venue, the Ragtag Theater, allows beer and food inside.Quite honestly, for a town of its size, Columbia, MO boasts some very fine venues for screening films, and the university town features some very enthusiastic audiences, filling large venues that even a Los Angeles or New York City event would be proud of, though the organizers' top notch programming certainly doesn't hurt. For a growing fest, filmmakers and guests may be surprised by the sheer number of colleagues and fellow directors and producers attending, but after the long weekend event, it's not hard to see why. Aside from usually packed screenings, fun parties and a casual easy vibe, the festival also hosts a "March March" (basically a Carnivalesque parade named after the month in which the festival typically ends) through the city center, which is a small but lively area of restaurants and small shops. Maybe the only down side is that the nearby hotel is pretty basic (though a fantastic location), while another that's used by the festival is further away from the core taking place in Columbia's center. But all around, it's not to be missed.

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