Every year, my friends and I return to Columbia, Mo., like the salmon of Capistrano for the True/False Film Fest.
For the most part, it’s all documentaries and because it was started by a couple of guys out of a theater called the Ragtag, it’s always been scrappy and weird. I love this fest. I started going in my sophomore year and I’ve gone back every year since.
In the beginning, it was just a wee little fest, but now that it’s hit its 10th year it’s started to attract some big films. I saw about 10 (I think – things start to go fuzzy after your eighth movie in two days) great documentaries, from a chilling one about the Afghanistan war called Dirty Wars to a wonderful doc about back-up singers called Twenty Feet From Stardom. I like seeing tiny docs filmed on a shoe-string budget, but the nice thing about seeing big films is that I know they’ll actually get a theater run and other people will be able to see them and love them, too.
This year, I got to participate in the fest a little. I submitted a design for a T-shirt and it was accepted! I nearly died when I got the email, I’m telling you.
The T/F box office on Friday. The theme of the fest this year was (among other things) “the collective architecture of the impossible.”
My T-shirt design! Those are bower birds.
These are just a few of the marchers in the March March on Friday. It’s a scheduled impromptu march that anyone can join. This year there were fire-twirlers!
This was part of the T/F scavenger hunt put together by my friend Lauren. I understand that it’s making fun of hipsters, but I still unabashedly enjoy participating in some of the things on that list. The big question among our group: How much flannel is gratuitous?
Usually, there are Q&As with the directors and subjects of the films right after the show. Here’s one in the lovely Missouri Theater.
Ushio “The Boxer” Shinohara rocks a punch painting outside the Missouri Theater after a showing of his film “Cutie and The Boxer.”
Noriko Shinohara, awesome artist and the “Cutie” in “Cutie and The Boxer,” wore my shirt to her Q&A after the film. Pretty much a highlight of my life so far.
Here’s a photo of my favorite T/F tradition, the Buskers’ Last Stand, when a bunch of bands that played all over town for the fest get together to rock out one last time. That’s the lead singer of Run On Sentence right there. You should go check them out, if awesome music is important to you.