True/False Film Festival opens to enthusiastic crowds

Saturday, February 27, 2010 | 6:26 p.m. CST
Timothy Speed Levitch explains the History of Alley A and its informal former name "Historic Clown Alley" during his walking tour of Broadway on Saturday. The tour, part of the True/False Film Fest, focused on little known facts about downtown Columbia and personal stories from Levitch.

Thousands turned out this week for the seventh annual True/False Film Festival, which has evolved into a cinematic adventure for fans of documentaries.

Nearly 40 films, including secret screenings, are being shown over the four-day festival at venues such as the Missouri Theatre and Stephens College. True/False officials reported 2,500 passholders had multiple tickets to the various films, and surplus tickets were available to non-passholders who stood in lines called "Q's" to purchase them.

Filmgoers could watch as many documentaries as they could cram into their schedule, if they held the tickets to view them.

They could also attend a series of panel discussions with the filmmakers, rub shoulders with them at a number of parties around town, see performance art and listen to musicians at Columbia nightclubs.

"The festival highlights innovative work with a cinematic scope," according to the True/False Web site.

Documentaries included a look at Mexican circus culture, British couples talking about love and sex and looks at a mining operation in India, a Cambodian Village plagued by arsenic poisoning, the evolution of animation at Walt Disney Co., and the pre-hippie world of Doris Day and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Although the festival officially began Thursday, the March parade brought  True/False fans together downtown. It was a mix of music, dogs and families, outrageous costumes, and even a bass boat float.

Afterward, fans could attend “Reality Bites” at Missouri Theatre for a taste of Columbia by area restaurants.

Most of the panel discussions were scheduled for the weekend, with filmmakers talking about their art and the future of documentaries.

The discussions continue Sunday, as well as nearly 40 screenings beginning at 10 a.m.

For ticket availability, go to


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