COLUMBIA — The True/False Film Fest returns to the downtown Columbia neighborhood this weekend, drawing moviegoers from around the world to one of the biggest film screening events in the United States.
This year’s festival will feature 33 feature films and 20 short films, which will be scattered across participating venues. These include the Missouri Theatre, Rhynsburger Theater at MU, Showtime Theater at The Blue Note, Ragtag Cinema and The Picturehouse.
“It’s amazing to be able to bring everyone together in one area of town and see how businesses are thriving,” said Pizza Tree delivery driver Gabi Jacobs. “You see so many people walking around, biking, enjoying downtowns and businesses.”
The True/False Film Fest began in 2003, continuing as an annual festival until it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Last year, a two-month postponement allowed event organizers to hold the Fest at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater in May.
The return to normal activity this year has delighted business owners in the downtown district in the face of increased foot traffic. Miki Merritt, owner and operator of 573 Tees in Aisle A, said he chose to sponsor this year’s festival because of the impact it has on the city.
“It was a no-brainer to be a partner of theirs because this weekend alone they’re going to bring thousands of people to Colombia,” Merritt said. “So I think it’s very important to support those who support Columbia.”
Jacobs, a seven-year Columbia resident, has previously attended concerts hosted by True/False. This year, she is delighted to also attend film screenings, including a feature film called The balcony moviedirected by a Polish director in Warsaw.
“He’s recording strangers walking by and asking them questions, so there are video clips of him interacting with people and people being like, ‘ehh, I don’t want to interact with this guy,'” Jacobs said. , “so I think it’s going to be pretty cool because I love people watching.”
Visit the true/false website to see this weekend’s full festival program and for ticket sales information.
“There’s going to be a lot of new business at Columbia from people who are here, but also from people who work True/False, whether they volunteer or work,” Merritt said. “They’re going to need things to do, so I think it’s really good for the community and a really big impact on local sales, that’s really important.”