Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I love True/False Film Fest

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.


anitaprentice said...

Hey, meanwhile, the eyes of the world are on Texas and the Democratic primary. Are you voting? do you want to talk about it?

grainyms said...


No, I'm not going to write about the Texas Primary. Not because it's not a big thing. It is, and Austin is eating up it's chance to actually make a difference! Everyone I know is very excited about Obama (except for one friend who's still a Hilary holdout.) People are thrilled about Obama. And everyone is talking about the election all the time. I just personally am sick of the horse race aspect. Yes this is a historic moment! Yes I can't wait for things to be better. But overall I feel like people frame the debates and decide their candidates based on the stupidest of reasons. It's jargonism. It's all "Us vs Them." Punditry. Guesses. It's just not a game I enjoy - however important.

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