Organizers released the full list of films Wednesday and will announce the full schedule of events on Friday. A documentary about Pennsylvania State University will headline this year’s True/False Film Fest.
Organizers also awarded the festival’s only honor, the True Vision Award to first-time entrant Amir Bar-Lev. Bar-Lev’s documentary “Happy Valley” chronicles the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that rocked Penn State.
Bar-Lev said he is humbled by this honor and excited to be able to attend the festival for the first time. He said that he has always heard great things about the festival.
“It’s been right at the top of my list of festivals,” Bar-Lev said.
Bar-Lev said that he wanted to explore the two sides of the argument about Sandusky. He said that people inside the town saw him as a monster that was able to fool everybody, while people outside the town saw something wrong with Happy Valley as a whole.
“We’re kind of weighing these two arguments and trying to figure out if one or the other is right, or if there is something in the middle,” Bar-Lev said.
Another highlight of the new film list is one from a director from Columbia, Mo. Andrew Droz Palermo submitted a film that he co-directed with his cousin, Tracy Droz Tragos, into this year’s festival. Their documentary “Rich Hill” covers the lives of three small-town Missouri teenagers. They follow these teenagers’ lives and the major problems they experience.
One of the festival’s organizers, David Wilson, said they are lucky to have such a rich documentary culture in Columbia.
“We really attempt to bring big international filmmakers to Columbia, but when we see great work, we see great work. And Columbia has a really great documentary culture and we’ve been lucky enough to get to feature films by Columbia filmmakers a number of times at the fest,” Wilson said.
The festival runs from Feb. 22 to March 2 and will feature 42 films. Organizers say they will release the full schedule of events of Friday on their website.