The True/False Film Festival, which has grown into one of the world’s most important documentary events in less than a decade, has announced the lineup for this year’s event, which unspools Feb. 28 to March 3 in Columbia, Mo.
The festival traditionally runs the weekend after the Oscars, and it’s not unusual for Academy-sanctioned filmmakers to come to Columbia, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Alex Gibney was in the college town a few days after winning an Oscar for the torture expose “Taxi to the Dark Side” in 2008.
James Marsh presented “Man on Wire” at True/False before that film about a daredevil won an Oscar in 2009.
Last year, Columbians got to see Malik Bendjelloul’s musical mystery “Searching for Sugar Man,” the favorite to win this year’s Academy Award as best documentary feature.
This year’s name-brand guests include Sarah Polley (the star of “The Sweet Hereafter” and the director of “Away from Her”), who will present her family portrait “Stories We Tell,” and journalist Sebastian Junger, who will screen “Which Way is the Front Line From Here,” his tribute to his friend (and co-director of “Restrepo”), the late photographer Tim Hetherington.
The True Vision award winners for career achievement are Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, co-directors of the hypnotic sheepherding documentary “Sweetgrass” and the new “Leviathan,” about life aboard a fishing boat.
A good bet for the next big thing is “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” a Sundance-tested documentary about background singers.
Other topics of festival films range from computer chess and online communities to dairy farming and killer whales.
True/False has a truly global scope, and this year’s roster includes two films about Greenland, two about Chile (including “No,” the Oscar-nominated docudrama about the vote to oust fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet) and several about Russia (including a profile of the imprisoned punk activists Pussy Riot).
As usual, several red-hot films are listed as “secret screenings,” with the names withheld until showtime by request of the directors or distributors, who may still be negotiating a release strategy.
Starting Sunday, passholders will vie for particular screenings, with the most generous benefactors getting first dibs. After Feb. 22, individual tickets will go on sale.
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