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True or False?

Organizers hope film festival will become annual event
Monday, February 16, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:50 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The inaugural True/False Film Festival wrapped up its three-day run Sunday in Columbia, receiving rave reviews from moviegoers and filmmakers who seemed optimistic that the festival could become an annual city event.

At the 2:30 p.m. Sunday showing of “CSA: Confederate States of America,” people lined up in the cold outside the Blue Note to purchase tickets. The film is a mock documentary about what the world would be like if the South had won the Civil War.

The documentary was just one of several films, many of them prize-winning, that were shown at the Ragtag Cinemacafe, the Missouri Theatre and the Blue Note. David Wilson, one of the festival’s co-directors, said the festival was a success.

“We’ve been very happy with everything so far,” Wilson said. “There have been a lot of sellouts and a lot of full houses.”

Columbia resident Glenn Rice, who attended seven shows during the festival, said he was surprised by how many people took in the films.

“There was only one show that wasn’t packed, and that was one of the 11 a.m. shows,” Rice said.

A number of the screenings closed with question-and-answer sessions with individuals involved in making the documentaries.

At the Saturday screening of “The Lost Boys of Sudan,” Peter Dut, one of the subjects of the film, spoke with the audience afterward. The film is about Dut and another refugee who emigrate from Sudan to the United States. Wilson said many of the audience members, some of whom were refugees themselves, were in tears by the end of the session.

True/False had a different feel than many other film festivals, said Sandra Fierlinger. She and her husband, Paul Fierlinger, co-directed the animated film “A Room Nearby,” which was shown at the festival.

“It doesn’t have an ego, like Sundance did,” she said. The Fierlingers’ 1995 film “Drawn from Memory” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The true-or-false theme also made a difference, Fierlinger said.

“It feels like people are more connected to the films here because of that theme,” she said.


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