True/False Conversations

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The KBIA reporting team interviews filmmakers whose work is appearing at this year's True/False Film Festival.  Read or listen to the interviews and find out everything you need to know about this year's best documentaries.  

Prefer to take it with you?  Now you can download the True/False podcast on the iTunes store or with your favorite podcasting software via this link.

E-TEAM the movie, LLC

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes

The fracking boom in much of the U.S. has opened up a new path for people searching for work, of course, but also for redemption and reinvention.  In the film “The Overnighters,” filmmaker Jesse Moss travels to Williston, N.D., to tell the story of Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke and the workers he houses in his church and home. Reinke invites newcomers to sleep in extra rooms at the church and to sleep in their cars in the parking lot while they look for jobs and more permanent housing. Some of the men even live in the pastor’s home with his family.

Still from the film / Jaap Van Hoewijk

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Particle Fever

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

On March 14, 2013, experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland tentatively confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, sometimes referred to as the “God particle.” Its discovery was the culmination of nearly 30 years of work. The film "Particle Fever" captures the tension and drama in a group of dedicated scientists on the brink of a once in a lifetime discovery.

Courtesy of Michael Latham

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

“Ukraine is Not a Brothel” gives an intimate look at the world’s most controversial feminist movement.  Femen created a media frenzy in Europe as its members spoke out against patriarchy by way of topless demonstrations -- writing protest messages on their bare chests. As the movement gets larger, Femen's activists learn they must face the dark forces that power their organization.

Courtesy of Cynthia Hill

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

When her ex-husband would beat her, survivor Deanna Walters says her family used to ask her "Why don't you just leave him?" 

If only the answer were simple. And as long-time advocate for domestic abuse survivors Kit Gruelle says: If only no one would ever ask that question. 

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Films and filmmakers from around the world are converging in mid-Missouri this weekend for the annual True/False Film Fest.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

This weekend is the annual True/False Film Fest, bringing documentary films and filmmakers to Columbia from all over the world.

Series explanation: This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

The film “Life After Death” follows Kwasa , an orphan in Rwanda, as he struggles for social opportunities in a land plagued by genocide. Kwasa battles with how to overcome his childhood experiences and become a better man through the help of his friend, Christian philanthropists, and two donors from Dallas, Texas, with whom he communicates through Facebook.

The Notorious Mr. Bout

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

For more than a decade, Russian entrepreneur Viktor Bout was widely thought of as the brilliant, elusive figure at the head of a global arms trade.  By the time he was brought down by an elaborate sting operation in 2008, Bout’s reputation in the media was that of a super villain. But in their film "The Notorious Mr. Bout," Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber examine Bout’s life in the arms trade through a slightly different lens – his own. Before he became known as the “Merchant of Death,” Bout was to some simply a businessman, a travel enthusiast, and an amateur filmmaker.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

The film Bronx Obama has the danger of becoming a novelty act – much like the subject of the film. Louis Ortiz was unemployed when someone at a bar in 2008 told them he looked a lot like that Senator, Barack Obama. When that Senator became President, Ortiz’s life changed.

Ortiz decides to try to turn his look into cash, and then into a career, at least while it lasts. The film Bronx Obama goes beyond the “gee whiz” aspect of Ortiz’s story. Director Ryan Murdock shows how Ortiz’s re-invention of himself affects his life, his family and his psyche.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Robert Greene is no virgin to True/False. Three of his feature films have shown in Columbia over the years. In fact, he says he owes a lot of his career to the festival.

In his latest film “Actress,” Greene follows Brandy Burre – who fans of HBO’s “The Wire” may recognize as cutthroat campaign consultant Theresa D’Agostino – as she steps back into the thespian game after a reprieve to start a family.

Greene blends melodramatic, staged interludes with cinema verite scenes as the audience is guided through Burre’s dance among the roles of mother, partner, friend, businesswoman and actress. Greene tells the story strictly through Burre’s point of view, as her asides demonstrate the piercing self-awareness of an honest woman in the midst of the growing pains of change. Ultimately, the film poses the question to the audience: At what cost does reclaiming your dreams come at?

Red Box Films

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

The film the Green Prince follows the unlikely journey of Mosab Hassan Yousef. Born in the Palestinian territories to a high-ranking Hamas leader, Mosab does the unthinkable: he spies on his own people for Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency.

Using candid interviews, archival footage, and dramatic reenactments, director Nadav Schirman follows Mosab’s transformation, and his complicated relationship with his Israeli handler, Gonen Ben Itzhak.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

In the film “Approaching the Elephant,” filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder follows the students and teachers of a so-called free school in New Jersey where the students make the rules. Wilder, who mans the camera for the film, is a fly on the wall as the audience is taken through the school’s inaugural year and all of the problems that arise. 

Some students struggle with handling the school’s democratic structure while others thrive. The film culminates in some serious decisions regarding the future of the school, its tireless director and its most troublesome student.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Literature lovers, get ready: This year, the True/False Film Fest will take you to a James Joyce reading group.

Courtesy of Jessica Oreck

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

For more than a decade, fans of documentary film have flocked to Columbia, Mo., for the annual True/False Film Fest. The screenings start on Thursday.

Many of this year’s films are set in big cities -- like Cairo, Rome and New York. But several works also focus on rural life. "Rich Hill" follows three teenagers growing up in a small Missouri community south of Kansas City.  Jessica Oreck’s "The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga" uses animation and stunning scenes of everyday village life in Eastern Europe to tell the Slavic fairytale of Baba Yaga. The film is shot in Super 16.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

The Crash Reel on Facebook

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

When professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce crashed in the half-pipe in 2009, his life’s trajectory took a turn for the uncertain. After barely surviving a devastating head injury from the fall, Pearce’s recovery ultimately became more than just returning to full health.

Enter filmmaker Lucy Walker. In “The Crash Reel,” the Oscar-nominated documentarian opens a door to Kevin and his family as they struggle with how to handle Kevin’s injury and recovery. The intimate interactions between family members highlight the horrors of traumatic head injuries and the effects they have on loved ones.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

A little over a year ago, members of the feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot staged an unauthorized performance inside Russia’s main cathedral, railing against the recently re-elected President Vladimir Putin. Video of their "punk prayer" went viral, and their subsequent arrest raised an international outcry, with notable figures like Madonna and Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi calling for their release.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Ushio Shinohara was a “rowdy, confrontational" young artist, seemed destined for fame after moving to New York City in the late 1960’s. He hung out with Warhol. He’d been part of Japan’s post-war avant-garde movement, most well-known as the “boxing painter,” for his exhibitionist art where he would dip his cloth-bound hands in ink, and punch his way down a canvas. But his full potential was never realized.

Courtesy of Computer Chess LLC

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

In 1997, a computer beat a human at chess for the first time.  Gary Kasparov was reputedly the best chess player of his time but an IBM program named Deep Blue wore him down. It was a landmark moment for technology and is one of the seminal moments of the digital age. Director Andrew Bujalski, most famous for inaugurating the “Mumblecore” genre in the 1990s—wanted to find the root of that moment, and it took him to the obscure nerd culture of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Courtesy of The Expedition to the End of the World

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

For three weeks, Danish filmmaker Daniel Dencik and his film crew drifted on an old wooden schooner through the remote arctic waters of Greenland. Also on board, a group of artists and scientists studied the changing landscape of northeastern Greenland and used it to answer questions for scientific research and existential definition. Dencik’s job was to capture this age-old tradition of artists and scientists searching for truth and meaning in a rarely navigated locale. (Think Columbus and other early explorers.)

U.S. National Guard

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Courtesy of I Am Breathing Film

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Eight months after doctors diagnosed him with a disease that attacked his nerve cells, successful British architect Neil Platt became paralyzed from the neck down.  As the down-to-earth, often humorous Neil struggled to figure out his legacy for his young son, filmmakers Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon gained intimate access to the Platt family in Neil's last months. 

The film, I Am Breathing, will get its North American premiere at this year's True/False Film Festival. Neil described the film as "a tale of fun and laughs with a smattering of upset and devastation." 

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

What happens when you end up in the background of someone else’s accomplished dreams? That’s the central question in documentarian Morgan Neville’s Twenty Feet from Stardom. The film will be screened at the True/False Film Festival

Courtesy of Trufflepig Films

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.