COLUMBIA — True: The True/False Film Festival sold out of passes this weekend, breaking records by nearly doubling the number of passes sold in any year of the documentary festival’s five-year history.
False: You can’t get tickets to festival screenings anymore.
This year marks the first time True/False has had to cap purchase of passes before their sale was scheduled to end. Originally, pass sales were to continue through Tuesday.
But True/False co-founder David Wilson said hope remains for those who didn’t get a chance to buy passes. Pass holders get to reserve tickets ahead of time — ticket reservations started on Sunday and will continue through Feb. 22 — but screenings that haven’t gone “NRT” (No Reserve Tickets) will go on sale at noon Feb. 28 at the Cherry Street Artisan, 111 S. Ninth St. Individual tickets will cost $8 and student tickets will cost $6 with a valid student ID.
“What happens every year is different,” Wilson said. “I think what we’ll see is that most screenings that aren’t NRT will go NRT by the end of the day on Thursday (Feb. 28).”
Combined, True/False sold 1,375 passes: 800 Simple at $55 apiece, 500 Lux at $125 each and 75 Silver Circle at $200 each. Each level of pass offers different perks and access to screenings. Last year, approximately 750 passes were sold.
Wilson said that because pass sales were so numerous this year, screenings on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival might run out of reserved tickets before the Artisan box office opens. However, because only some pass holders could reserve tickets for screenings on Thursday, Wilson said there will definitely still be tickets available for those screenings.
Even if there are no tickets left at the Artisan box office, True/False uses a “Q” system to account for people with reserved tickets who don’t show up to a show. If you really want to catch a particular screening, Wilson said to arrive at the door 30-45 minutes early.
About 30 minutes before each show, volunteers will distribute paper “Q” passes. Depending on how many extra seats are available about five minutes before show time, “Q” holders will be let in on a first come, first served basis.
“Pass holders often request tickets for movies and don’t see that movie,” Wilson said. “They might go get dinner or do something else ... this is a way of taking care of those seats that don’t get taken.”
Wilson said there will always be at least a few extra seats at each screening.
“Sometimes there are a whole bunch of seats, sometimes just a few,” he said. “I guarantee some people from the ‘Q’ line will get in at every True/False screening.”