Sunday, March 02, 2008
This is our third trip to True/False Film Fest. We love it here! It's like this incredible antidote to Sundance. Not that I even go to Sundance regularly. I haven't been since 2005. But True/False is clearly a different kind of animal. It takes place in Columbia, Missouri, the week before Austin's Texas Film Hall of Fame and SXSW, in a sweet little college town with a clearly dedicated home-made art scene. For me, it's just a really great way to see some fantastic documentaries. Since last night: Stranded, Joy Division, The Greening of Southie, Shake off the Devil, The Order of Myths, American Teen and Forbidden Lies. And a whole another day still to come. And just prior for our Swami (kind of mentoring/networking) duties: Sons of A Gun, Song Sung Blue, My Mother's Garden, and An Alternative to Slitting your Wrist. Not that all the films are great. But a surprising number of them are - and this is a perfect way to see them. The venues are full with excellent projection. The audiences are smart and keenly appreciative. Everything's in easy walking distance. The filmmakers are present and totally accessible. They're not off doing press or trying to make deals. They're actually here seeing others work and getting to know one another. It's collegial and supportive. Paul Sturz and David Wilson have created an uber quality event full of great touches including strong iconography, handy concessions at all the venues, their Gimme Truth game show, and even audience pleasing fest trailers. They put a tremendous amount of emphasis on making it a great experience for the filmmakers.
It's actually weird to write about this because I know it's not fair. Everyone can't come and participate, and if they could, it wouldn't be as enjoyable. So in a way I'm gloating about something that's a bit elitist for those outside the immediate midwest community. And does it really help the films that there's little industry and press? (Although there are some key industry supportive types, and a strong showing from the online blogging press.) But I'm having such a great time! For me it's a perfect immersion into some new work. It's small enought that I can really see a lot but not be too frustrated by what I'm not getting a chance to see. And also a great way to meet some new filmmakers, and delight in older friendships. Already knocked out by Stranded, The Greening of Southie, The Order of Myths, and Forbidden Lies! Really knocked out.