Organizers teach newcomers how to do True/False Film Fest

Sunday, January 31, 2010 | 9:19 p.m. CST; updated 11:16 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 3, 2010

COLUMBIA — Although Blake Bratten moved to Columbia two years ago, the only thing he knew about True/False Film Fest was that it showed "a lot of excellent documentaries."

Bratten had never been to the festival, and he had never seen any of the films it featured.

Last year, more than 20,000 people attended the True/False Film Fest. Still, not everyone in Columbia knows the ins and outs of the festival.

This year, organizers conducted the first True/False Boot Camp to help newcomers learn more about the documentary film festival. About 70 people attended the event at Ragtag Cinema on Sunday afternoon.

At the one-hour session, organizers spoke about the different types of passes available, how to reserve tickets and some of this year's feature films.

Bratten, 21, who owns a home maintenance business, became curious after hearing about the True/False Boot Camp and decided to check it out.

David Wilson, 35, the co-founder and co-director of True/False Film Fest, said the Boot Camp was started after he heard that many people would like to learn more about the film festival.

"I heard from the folks at the radio station that many people know a bit about True/False but want to know more," he said.

He also recommended some worthy features this year:

  • "The Oath," one of Wilson's favorites, is a feature about the lives of two brothers-in-law associated with al-Qaeda and how their lives have taken different directions after the Sept. 11 bombings.
  • "Last Train Home" is about a family in China who travels home for Chinese New Year by train.
  • "Racing Dreams" is a film about the fortunes and struggles of three young go-kart racers.
  • "Waking Sleeping Beauty" features a struggling Disney in the mid-1980s and its staff's efforts to rebuild the company.

"Look out for what interests you, but don't worry too much about it," Wilson said. "Films you want to watch, you may get turned away, but films that you don't expect to, you may end up loving it."

Bratten said after the boot camp that he hopes to catch "Last Train Home," "Racing Dreams" and "Waking Sleeping Beauty" at the festival.

The seventh True/False Film Fest will be held Feb. 25 to 28.

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