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Feb. 28, 2013 Volume 34, No. 21

True/False Film Festival returns to Columbia


Individual tickets still available

Downtown restaurants are stocking their bars. Venues, such as the Blue Note and the Missouri Theatre, are decorating their walls. Filmmakers are arriving in Columbia. It’s True/False Film Festival time. 

Today through March 3, the documentary film festival, now in its 10th year, will overtake downtown Columbia. 

About 4,650 pass holders will attend this sold-out festival, said Hannah Carlson, spokeswoman for True/False. But if you want to attend individual films, tickets can still be purchased at the festival’s box office, 1020 E. Broadway. 

Starting today, a ticket can be purchased for $8 at the box office or $10 at the door — but only if the movie is not NRT, or “No Reserve Tickets.” The abbreviation signifies that all the venue’s seats are filled. 

To find out whether a movie is NRT, ask at the box office, or check online at

Hope is not lost if a movie is NRT. Non-ticket and non-pass holders can still receive a number from the festival Queen and wait in a film’s “Q.” 

This process starts an hour before a film’s show time at its respective venue. The “Q” number system functions like a grocery store deli. Five minutes before a film starts, the house manager will come out to the “Q” and call out the number of empty seats. If there are 10 empty seats in the theater, for example, people holding numbers 1 through 10 will be allowed entrance. 

One change in the festival’s routine is the True Life Fund. In years past, this fundraiser donated money to a documentary’s subject. This year, it will donate to two groups, Carlson said. This year’s recipient is Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, which documents journalist Tim Hetherington’s career, leading up to his death while covering Libya’s civil war in 2011. The fund will donate its proceeds to Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, which trains war journalists to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield, and the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone, which was an important place for Hetherington.

Whether seeing a film or simply enjoying the atmosphere, Carlson encourages everyone to come downtown. “We’re really excited about it, and hope [the community] is too,” she said.

— Ashley Carman