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True/False Film Fest Announces 2020 Lineup

Boys State

The lineup is out for this year’s True/False Film Fest, running March 5 to 9. Find the full list below (including this year’s Neither/Nor retrospective sidebar, focusing on Missouri born and raised filmmakers, and a retrospective for True Vision honorees Bill and Turner Ross) along with links to trailers and some previous coverage of a few directors from our end. All descriptions from the festival.

Dir. Bill & Turner Ross; 2009; 94 min.

An ode to the colors and characters of small-town Americana, True Vision honorees Bill and Turner Ross’ debut is a sweeping portrait of their birthplace, Sidney, Ohio, and its idiosyncrasies.

Dir. Alyx Ayn Arumpac; 2019; 85 min.

A fog of state-sanctioned violence hovers over the Philippines where fear and death haunt the lives of a journalist, a coroner, and a motherless child. [Trailer]

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

Dir. Bill and Turner Ross; 2020; 98 min.

An eclectic cast of barflys convenes in its favorite dive for one final night of cheap beer, well whiskey, and mischief.

Boys State

Dir. Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss; 2020; 109 min.

The Lone Star State’s best and brightest teenage boys assemble for a week of civics and shenanigans as they compete for the title of Texas Boys State governor. Presented by Veterans United Home Loans


Dir. Ina Luchsperger; 2019; 58 min.

A German boy and his family confront ghosts from their country’s past in this slippery, mesmeric portrait.

City So Real

Dir. Steve James; 2020; 240 min.

From the Back of the Yards to the booths of Daley’s diner, legendary Chicago filmmaker Steve James (The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams) delivers a lively, multilayered chronicle of the city during the pivotal mayoral race of 2019.


Dir. Alexander Nanau; 2019; 109 min.

In the aftermath of a horrific and deadly nightclub fire, Romanian bureaucrats and journalists fight tenaciously to bring integrity to broken systems. Presented by the Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy [Trailer, no subtitles]


Dir. Marnie Ellen Hertzler; 2020; 73 min.

As the world burns, millennials descend on Crestone, Colorado, to grow weed, spit bars, and fill their bellies with bologna. [25 New Faces of Film profile]

Crip Camp

Dir. Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham; 2019; 102 min.

A rambunctious story about the fight for disability rights in America and the Summer of Love when it all began. Presented by Rusk Rehabilitation Center [Clip]

Dick Johnson is Dead

Dir. Kirsten Johnson; 2020; 89 min.

Kirsten Johnson kills her father over and over again in this black comedy that asks, What if you never had to lose the people you love? 

Dope is Death

Dir. Mia Donovan; 2020; 78 min.

In 1973, the government turns to methadone and mass incarceration to combat soaring drug addiction in American cities. The Black Panther Party and the Young Lords join forces to promote an alternative, the radical use of acupuncture.

Down a Dark Stairwell

Dir. Ursula Liang; 2020; 83 min.

Set in motion by a tragic police-involved shooting, two communities of color navigate fraught perceptions of injustice, inequality, and discrimination in the eyes of the law.

The Faculties

Dir. Eloísa Solaas; 2019; 77 min.

A film student forgets the plot to Battleship Potemkin and a botany student mistakes ovules and ovaries in this intense and brilliantly structured study of young scholars undertaking oral examinations at the University of Buenos Aires. [Trailer, no subtitles]


Dir. Valentina Pedicini; 2019; 93 min.

The Warriors of Light live in total isolation. Acolytes partake in rigorous daily exercises and prayer under the tutelage and control of their Master … until one person tries to escape.

Feels Good Man

Dir. Arthur Jones; 2020; 95 min.

The story of a little frog who gets lost in the dark web.

The Giverny Document (Single Channel)

Dir. Ja’Tovia Gary; 2019; 42 min.

“Do you feel safe in your body?” Ja’Tovia Gary asks black women on a sunny day in Harlem as she reflects on her own image and self worth in Claude Monet’s garden.

(Plays with Reckless Eyeballing, and A Song About Love)

IWOW: I Walk On Water

Dir. Khalik Allah; 2020; 200 min.

Returning to the nocturnal streets of East Harlem, a groundbreaking portrait artist evolves his practice in this work of beauty, invention, and vulnerability. [Trailer]


Dir. Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss; 2019; 106 min.

Along German country roads, immigrant sex workers sit alone in dimly lit camper vans, hoping to attract clientele. [Trailer]

A Machine to Live In

Dir. Yoni Goldstein & Meredith Zielke; 2020; 87 min.

In Brasília, utopian geometry, monumental myth-making, and alien-centered architecture present concrete plans for their country’s crumbling foundation. [25 New Faces of Film profile]

małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore

Dir. Sky Hopinka; 2020; 81 min.

Sky Hopinka’s debut feature is a meditative journey through the lush Pacific Northwest, guided by the Chinookan origin-of-death myth.


Dir. David Osit; 2020; 87 min.

Meet the mayor of Ramallah, Palestine, as he contends with provincial predicaments: potholes, holiday parties, and the occupation of his city’s land by another government’s military.

The Metamorphosis of Birds

Dir. Catarina Vasconcelos; 2020; 101 min.

An epistolary love story spanning decades of marriage, six children, and an ocean.

The Mole Agent

Dir. Maite Alberdi; 2020; 90 min.

A kindhearted widower infiltrates a Chilean retirement home to investigate rumors of neglect in this compassionate and clever detective story.

Mucho Mucho Amor

Dir. Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch; 2020; 96 min.

Larger-than-life Puerto Rican TV astrologer Walter Mercado captivated millions with his theatrical horoscope readings, magnificent capes, and uplifting message—until he mysteriously vanished.

N/N: Films of Mike Henderson

Dir. Mike Henderson; 1970; 75 min.

Marshall, Missouri’s Mike Henderson creates abstractions out of household appliances and finds radical ways to explore history in his mesmerizing short films.

N/N: Films of Tom Palazzolo

Dir. Tom Palazzolo; 1972; 87 min.

Tom Palazzolo’s short films find wry humor in American rituals, such as wedding showers, beauty contests, and lottery drawings.

N/N: still/here

Dir. Christopher Harris; 2000; 60 min.

Christopher Harris returns home to north St. Louis and creates his own cinematic language to look at its vacant spaces.

N/N: The Gloria Tapes

Dir. Lisa Steele; 1980

In this penetrating look at a woman navigating the welfare system, Kansas City’s Lisa Steele draws from a decade of working at a women and children’s shelter.


Dir. Michaël Andrianaly; 2020; 73 min.

A Malagasy barber tends to the scalps and dreams of his clientele in this warm and tactile portrait of a community fixture. [Trailer]

Pier Kids: The Life

Dir. Elegance Bratton; 2019; 84 min.

An unfiltered look at life and the families that form along the piers at the end of Christopher Street, told by three homeless queer and trans youths of color. [Trailer]


Dir. John Skoog; 2019; 70 min.

Drawing from local lore, residents of the rural town of Kvidinge, Sweden, collaborate in this magical and mysterious collection of vignettes. [Trailer]

Seven Years in May

Dir. Affonso Uchoa; 2019; 42 min.

On the run and away from home for more than seven years, Rafael’s life-changing experience with police is restaged as he faces down his demons. [Trailer]

Shorts: Blanc

59 min.

A celestial collection of secrets, ceremonies, and ageless places.

Shorts: Bock

50 min.

Artists from across the globe locate radical and ingenious ways to interrogate power structures.

Shorts: Rouge

81 min.

A vibrant suite that heightens the senses and takes the viewer on a journey of healing.

Shorts: Rye

73 min.

A wry, wily trip across America on the cross-talk express.

So Late So Soon

Dir. Daniel Hymanson; 2020; 70 min.

A half-century into their marriage, two Chicago artists look back at their lives together and contend with a never-ending series of house repairs.

Some Kind of Heaven

Dir. Lance Oppenheim; 2020; 81 min.

America’s largest retirement community, The Villages is where people come to live. Presented by Fresh Ideas [25 New Faces of Film profile]

Sunless Shadows

Dir. Mehrdad Oskouei; 2019; 74 min.

Serving time for murder, five young women form a new family inside a Tehran juvenile detention center. [Trailer]

A Supa Special Wakaliwood Event for All True/False Commandos

Dir. IGG Nabwana; 2020; 61 min.

Ribs get tickled then broken in this exhilarating action film from Uganda.

Talking About Trees

Dir. Suhaib Gasmelbari; 2019; 93 min.

Following decades of government censorship, four retired filmmakers form the Sudanese Film Group and attempt to revive a deserted movie palace in this sweet and humorous ode to cinephilia. [Clip, no subtitles]


Dir. Bill & Turner Ross; 2012; 82 min.

Our True Vision honorees take us on an intoxicating nighttime journey through the Big Easy as experienced by three bright-eyed brothers. [A eight-year-old trailer]

That Cloud Never Left

Dir. Yashaswini Raghunandan; 2019; 66 min.

In the Indian village of Daspara, a lunar eclipse is approaching. The villagers recycle 35mm film reels into enchanting toys.

Those That, At a Distance, Resemble Another

Dir. Jessica Sarah Rinland; 2019; 65 min.

A perfect, gleaming ivory tusk is fabricated by a team of expert hands in this dazzling voyage into the world of preservation. [Trailer]


Dir. Garrett Bradley; 2020; 85 min.

Director Garrett Bradley delicately captures one family’s milestones and everyday joys amidst their monumental fight to free their father from a 60-year prison sentence.


Dir. Inês Gil; 2019; 76 min.

A Portuguese tannery employee mysteriously abandons her post, leaving co-workers to process her departure in this transfixing study of labor and beauty. [Trailer]

The Viewing Booth

Dir. Ra’anan Alexandrowicz; 2019; 70 min.

Researcher and filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz tests the limits of nonfiction images’ ability to function as evidence. [Trailer]

Welcome to Chechnya

Dir. David France; 2020; 107 min.

This vital, harrowing film embeds with everyday citizens as they band together to bring LGBT+ residents of Chechnya to safety.


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