True/False Film Festival announces final movie title

Friday, February 22, 2008 | 5:18 p.m. CST; updated 2:31 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — True/False Film Festival co-founders David Wilson and Paul Sturtz were hoping Columbia residents would be willing to take a “leap” of faith when they decided to withhold the name of their final — and biggest — film until a week before the festival begins. But the organizers, who officially released the name of the film 5 p.m. Friday, said the film they chose is well worth the wait and will be a “perfect close to the festival.”

“Man on Wire,” a documentary directed by James Marsh, will be playing at Jesse Auditorium in front of an expected 1,800 viewers at 7:30 p.m. March 2, the final day of the festival. The documentary is about the Frenchman Philippe Petit, who snuck into the World Trade Center in 1974, set up a tightrope between the two towers and then walked across it several times.

According to the Sundance Film Festival Web site, the film “brings Petit’s extraordinary adventure back to life with visceral immediacy ripened with post-9/11 nostalgia.”

“It works on all levels,” Wilson said. “It is emotional and thrilling. It is something that we wanted to bring back to Columbia from Sundance Film Festival.”

The movie struck a chord with Wilson and Sturtz when they saw its first showing at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

But the duo had to go through several channels to get the film to the True/False Film Festival, partially because the film was so new.

“With a film like this, there are a lot of people involved. We are deciding how it is going to enter the world and where it is going to screen,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he thinks it may be foolish to take the risk of withholding the title of the final film from the public every year, but he added that Columbia can trust the festival will always be an exceptional one.

This year’s festival runs from Thursday to March 2. Because part of the festival lands on Leap Day, the festival’s organizers decided to make the theme all about “leaping.”

Wilson said he sees a connection with the theme and the final film.

“Although he doesn’t leap off the tightrope, there is that sense of daring and a risk-taking in this film,” Wilson said. “This is a great close to the festival.”

Although the passes for the festival are sold out, hundreds of tickets for individual films are still available. Tickets can be purchased at the Cherry Street Artisan Box Office beginning noon Thursday. For more information about the festival, please go to

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