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True/False Announces 2023 Festival Lineup

A mariachi band performs on stage, with a woman violinist singing into a microphone.Going Varsity in Mariachi.

Today True/False announces the 2023 festival lineup, which takes place March 2-5 in Columbia, Missouri. This year’s program includes 33 feature films and 25 shorts, chosen from approximately 1,200 submissions alongside titles scouted from other film festivals. Celebrating its 20th iteration, True/False highlights work from filmmakers that experiment with “the possibilities of representing reality.” 

Find the full lineup below.


Anhell69 | Dir. Theo Montoya; 2022; 72 min. 

Blurring the lines of reality, director Theo Montoya leads the viewer through a magical-realism journey to recover the memories of his friends and chosen family. 

Art Talent Show | Dirs. Adéla Komrzý & Tomáš Bojar; 2022; 102 min. 

Through amusing and frustrating moments at a prestigious Czech art institute, professors set up an elaborate enrollment test for prospective students. 

Bad Press | Dirs. Rebecca Landsberry-Baker & Joe Peeler; 2022; 110 min. 

A fearless indigenous journalist fights for independent media and democracy in her community. Presented by Paytient 

Bobi Wine: The People’s President | Dirs. Christopher Sharp & Moses Bwayo; 2022; 114 min.

Activist-musician Bobi Wine runs for the presidency of Uganda daringly opposing a 35-year-long regime. Presented by Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy 

Broca’s Aphasia | Dir. Su Ming-Yen; 2022; 83 min. 

In a Taiwanese sex-doll hotel, glimpses of the workers’ lives and a haunting disembodied monologue reverberate. 

Dogwatch | Dir. Gregoris Rentis; 2022; 78 min. 

Armed guards, hired to protect ships from Somali pirates, restlessly live their everyday lives while constantly anticipating an attack. 

Feet in Water, Head on Fire | Dir. Terra Long; 2023; 93 min. 

In California’s Coachella Valley, miles of imported date palms, planted over generations, tell the story of a landscape and community in transition. 

Forms of Forgetting | Dir. Burak Çevik; 2023; 70 min. 

A couple meditate on their long-past relationship while delving deeply into the recesses of the decay of time and memory. 

Gigi La Legge | Dir. Alessandro Comodin; 2022; 103 min. 

Sleepy summer days unfold in this hybrid portrait of a gregarious local police officer on patrol through the Italian countryside. 

Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project | Dirs. Michèle Stephenson & Joe Brewster; 2022; 96 min. 

An Afrofuturist exploration of renowned poet Nikki Giovanni’s life, legacy, and hopes for the future. 

Going Varsity In Mariachi | Dirs. Alejandra Vasquez & Sam Osborn; 2022; 105 min.

In Southern Texas, a group of talented young musicians and their formidable coach vie for a chance to win the state championship in mariachi. 

Guapo’y | Dir. Sofia Paoli Thorne; 2022; 71 min. 

Healing from the trauma of the Paraguayan dictatorship, Celsa uses herbs to mend deep wounds left from her imprisonment and torture. 

How To Have An American Baby | Dir. Leslie Tai; 2023; 116 min. 

A kaleidoscopic portrait of the birth tourism industry, following Chinese mothers in a Californian “maternity hotel.” 

Hummingbirds | Dirs. Silvia Del Carmen Castaños & Estefanía “Beba” Contreras; 2023; 78 min.

Two filmmakers find healing in their everyday joyful antics on the streets of Laredo, Texas. 

It Runs In The Family | Dir. Victoria Linares Villegas; 2022; 83 min. 

A revelation about her family connection to an influential Dominican director from the 1940s sets a filmmaker on her own playful path of self-discovery. 

Joonam | Dir. Sierra Urich; 2022; 100 min. 

A filmmaker attempts to break down language barriers with her Iranian grandmother to finally understand her relationship to her heritage. 

La Bonga | Dirs. Sebastián Pinzón Silva & Canela Reyes; 2022; 73 min. 

Decades after they were forced to flee their village in the Colombian jungle, a community makes a poetically rendered return home. 

Last Things | Dir. Deborah Stratman; 2023; 50 min. 

An experimental, science fiction-meets-science fact meditation on the evolution and extinction of human life from the point of view of rocks. 

Mafifa | Dir. Daniela Muñoz Barroso; 2021; 77 min. 

In this verité search for a late, legendary female conga musician, a filmmaker with progressive hearing loss seeks to find traces of herself. 

Man On Earth | Dir. Amiel Courtin-Wilson; 2022; 97 min. 

Intimate observation and loving testimony are mixed with poetic moments in this thoughtful portrait of a terminally ill man who has scheduled his death. 

Milisuthando | Dir. Milisuthando Bongela; 2023; 117 min. 

Interrogations of the past fuse profoundly with investment in the future in this kaleidoscopic look at apartheid through its victims and the filmmaker’s own self. 

A Moment Of Innocence | Dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf; 1996; 78 min. 

An Iranian filmmaker seeks to reconcile through recreating the moment when he stabbed a police officer during a political rally. Curated by Victoria Linares Villegas as part of the True Vision retrospective program. 

Moosa Lane | Dir. Anita Mathal Hopland; 2022; 86 min. 

A biracial director meditates on identity, relationships, and home in this striking personal portrait shot over 15 years between Denmark and Pakistan. 

Natalia | Dir. Elizabeth Mirzaei; 2017; 76 min. 

A young woman pursues her faith, in the face of societal pressures, to become a nun. 

Our Body | Dir. Claire Simon; 2022; 172 min. 

Director Claire Simon follows doctors and patients at a gynecology ward in France. Presented by Flow’s Pharmacy 

Paradise | Dir. Alexander Abaturov; 2022; 88 min. 

A Siberian village fights apocalyptic wildfires without help from Moscow. Institutional neglect vies with mythic elemental forces in this intimate portrait of a community. 

R 21 aka Restoring Solidarity | Dir. Mohanad Yaqubi; 2022; 71 min. 

Films about the Palestinian liberation struggle—housed in a Japanese archive—are interwoven to create an essay on transnational solidarity and cinema as propaganda. 

Ramona | Dir. Victoria Linares Villegas; 2023; 83 min. 

An actress interviews several pregnant teenage girls in preparation for playing a fictional film character, which raises questions over her suitability for the role. Presented by Restoration Eye Care 

Red Herring | Dir. Kit Vincent; 2023; 90 min. 

Diagnosed with a terminal illness, a filmmaker documents the power of family and friendship in the face of adversity. 

The Stroll | Dirs. Kristen Lovell & Zackary Drucker; 2023; 84 min. 

A filmmaker documents their personal connection to the rich history of the Trans community in New York City’s Meatpacking District. 

The Taste Of Mango | Dir. Chloe Abrahams; 2023; 75 min. 

In an attempt to salvage the long-strained relationship between her mother and grandmother, a filmmaker confronts traumatic family secrets with her camera. 

Tavuri | Dir. Dervis Zaim; 2022; 93 min. 

In this imaginative verité film an infamous scam artist, who is suffering with diabetes, is released from prison and given a last chance at redemption. 

Three Women | Dir. Maksym Melnyk; 2022; 85 min. 

As he documents life in a rural region of Ukraine, a filmmaker becomes part of village life himself. Presented by Show Me Quality Consulting 

Time Bomb Y2K | Dirs. Brian Becker & Marley McDonald; 2023; 84 min. 

An immersive, all-archival retelling of the “Y2K” millennium bug and the mass hysteria that changed the fabric of modern society. Presented by Van Matre Law Firm 

Xaraasi Xanne (Crossing Voices) | Dirs. Raphaël Grisey & Bouba Touré; 2022; 122 min. A textured range of archival material and testimony interweave in this evocation of Soumankidi Coura, an anti-colonial farming collective in Mali. 


Alpha Kings | Dirs. Faye Tsakas & Enrique Pedráza-Botero; 2022; 14 min. 

Through intimate, observational moments, Alpha Kings follows a group of young men seeking quick wealth on OnlyFans. (Plays Before: Broca’s Aphasia

Anima | Dir. Manuel Mateo; 2022; 19 min. 

Striking images of the lives and deaths of captive animals loom in the background of everyday humanity. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

Aqueronte | Dir. Manuel Muñoz Rivas; 2023; 26 min. 

An eavesdropping observation through the mundanity, humor, and boredom of passengers on a ferry. (Plays in Shorts: Angiogram) 

Aralkum | Dirs. Daniel Asadi Faezi & Mila Zhluktenko; 2022; 14 min. 

As seen through haunting cinematography, a former fisherman sets sail on the barren Aral Desert, which was once a lush sea. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

Away | Dir. Ruslan Fedotov; 2022; 28 min. 

Talented teenage Ukrainian refugees use art to create powerful statement pieces on the streets of Budapest. (Plays in Shorts: Angiogram) 

Before It Breaks | Dir. Swetha Regunathan; 2022; 7min. 

The dance and alchemy between the choreography of glassblowing and the connection to the human form. (Plays in Shorts: Angiogram) 

Caballo de Espuma | Dir. Juanjo Rueda; 2022; 20 min. 

Assembling the filmmaker’s writing, storyboards, family archives, and haunting outdoor shots, Caballo de Espuma leads to an exploration of memory that blends the lines of reality. (Plays Before: Mafifa) 

Echo | Dir. Ross McClean; 2023; 13min. 

In Northern Ireland, an older man with damaged vocal chords seeks out connections over the radio airwaves. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

The Empty Sphere | Dir. Stéphanie Roland; 2022; 19min. 

Through starkly beautiful black and white images, the viewer journeys from the depths of space to the core of the earth. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

Example # 35 | Dirs. Lucía Malandro & Daniel D. Saucedo; 2022; 6 min. 

Footage from Cuba’s judicial archives weaves an untold perspective of the nonconformists. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

The Feeling of Being Close to You | Dir. Ash Goh Hua; 2022; 12 min. 

Through a lyrical combination of archival footage and phone calls, director Ash Goh Hua depicts the tense relationship between them and their mother. (Plays Before: The Taste of Mango

I was born in 1988 | Dir. Yasaman Baghban; 2022; 9 min. 

An Iranian filmmaker is haunted by the fact that they were born at the same time that massacres of political prisoners began in Iran. (Plays Before: Guapo’y

Jill, Uncredited | Dir. Anthony Ing; 2022; 18 min. 

A lively investigation into British background actor Jill Goldston’s prolific filmography. (Plays in Shorts: Angiogram) 

Language Unknown | Dir. Janelle VanderKelen; 2022; 6 min. 

In this animated experimental film, plants blossom through the foundation of a home and overtake human spaces. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

love at first byte | Dirs. Felizitas Hoffmann & Theresa Hoffmann; 2022; 6 min.

With security camera footage obtained via data request, this short distorts reality to embody a missed connection for a lovelorn surveillance machine. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

Margie Soudek’s Salt and Pepper Shakers | Dir. Meredith Moore; 2022; 12 min.

A filmmaker and VFX instructor uses footage of her grandmother’s intricate and unique collection of salt and pepper shakers in a film that bends time and space. (Plays in Shorts: Angiogram) 

Moomin | Dir. Zach Dorn; 2022; 5 min. 

A filmmaker’s lovesick voiceover narrates a cellphone journey to reconnect with a distant love over an online claw machine game. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

Moune Ô | Dir. Maxime Jean-Baptiste; 2022; 17 min. 

Dissecting footage of his father in Alain Maline’s Jean Galmot, Aventurier, Maxime Jean-Baptiste breaks down the colonial gaze. (Plays Before: La Bonga

No Elements | Dir. Barbara Vojtašáková; 2022; 25 min. 

A former couple reflects on 16mm film footage they shot together revealing the intricacy and challenges of their relationship. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

Tension Envelopes | Dir. Robert Greene; 2023; 9 min. 

A voiceless narrator imagines life inside the walls of an envelope factory. (Plays Before: Forms of Forgetting

That Day on the River | Dir. Lei Lei; 2023; 39 min. 

An intimate conversation between father and son paired with archival footage offers a glimpse into childhood memories of home. (Plays Before: Last Things

Tierra de Leche | Dirs. Milton Guillén & Fiona Hall; 2022; 12 min. 

An interrogation of capitalism and the American dream through migrant labor, GPS, and dairy cows. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

Visão do Paraíso | Dir. Leonardo Pirondi; 2022; 16 min. 

Bridging colonialism and modern machinery, Visão do Paraíso offers a stark critique of the evolution of technology. (Plays in Shorts: Galileo) 

While the Night Falls/Mientras Anochece | Dir. Amir Aether Valen; 2023; 18 min.

With stunning black and white cinematography, an elderly couple living on an isolated rural farm move through their daily routines. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

You Are Not Here | Dir. Nastia Korkia; 2022; 16 min. 

The chapters of a Russian funeral procession offer a meditation on ritual and loss. (Plays in Shorts: Serotonin) 

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