The liveliest new nonfiction films in the world are coming to downtown Columbia — many of them fresh from the Sundance, Toronto and other festivals. After its exciting debut last year, the True/False Film Festival returns Feb. 25-27, 2005 at four venues: the Missouri Theatre, the Blue Note, the Ragtag Cinema, and the Cherry Street Artisan. This year, the festival will be hosting international filmmakers from Germany to Israel, Iraq to the Czech Republic.

With over 90% of our filmmakers in attendance, and a good assortment of regional, national and even North American premieres, this year's fest promises to up the stakes for challenging, insightful and raucous new nonfiction films. Dispelling the notion that documentaries are stuffy and dry, we'll show movies that blur the line between fact and fantasy, documentary and narrative, propaganda and journalism, and honor vigorous work that evades easy categorization.

All of our venues are within two blocks of each other and all our events take place in the heart of downtown Columbia (save for the Reel Gone Round-up at the Bullpen Cinema, former home of Columbia's liveliest livestock auctions). Sandwiched between the nonstop movies, we'll throw parties (check out Uprise Bakery on Friday night), host panel discussions (one of which will be chaired by indie guru John Pierson) and challenge local filmmakers to reimagine the possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking (the first annual CATapult competition Saturday night at the Blue Note). Once again, Cherry St. Artisan serves as the festival box office and headquarters, and it's your first stop to purchase passes and pick up tickets.

Starting the week of January 24th, we'll be announcing some films on this site. So stay tuned, clear your schedule and get ready for True/False's annual revival. We promise it'll be worth your while.

To our neighbors and friends,
Wow! We're knocked out by the tremendous love and warm feeling that we experienced in our hometown this weekend. More than 6,600 tickets sold, a 50% increase over last year. But more than numbers, we saw a deepening of commitment to making True/False a proud signifier of what makes Columbia distinctive and good.

Time and time again, filmmakers, many of them veterans of the circuit, remarked that this was far and away the best festival they had attended. They loved how each of the festival's venues — the Missouri Theatre, the Blue Note, Ragtag, and the Cherry St. Artisan — were each unique and that they were all so easy to walk to. Our volunteers — all 100 of them! — were everywhere, taking the edge off the inevitable confusion. The locals demonstrated what we've come to know from our travels — Columbians are just amazingly friendly.

And of course, we must thank all of our sponsors for having the faith in a still-young event. We understand that being in Columbia implies that you're not here solely for the money. But your generosity in helping us mount the fest confirmed that we share the vision of a vibrant, cultural downtown — one that has the potential to be one of the very best in the country.

Well, we'll say right now, we're committed to another year of True/False. So keep your eye on this page for updates, and please don't hesitate to write us at

Paul Sturtz, David Wilson