Post Classifieds

Stephens reduces role in True/False Film Festival

By Shannon McBride
On February 26, 2012

Students might notice there's a little more room to move in Columbia Foyer when the True/False Film Festival descends in Columbia for the ninth year.

Taking place March 1 to 4, True/False takes Columbia to a whole new league for four days, with the majority of films shown typically discovered at Sundance, Toronto and other festivals.

But True/False does more than show films. The weekend's events include parties, field trips and challenging filmmakers to network and find inspiration for future non-fiction projects.

In previous years the festival used a lot of locations in downtown Columbia; generally within walking distance of one another. Although this will remain the same, one change this year is Stephens will no longer sponsor the festival as a whole.

"Truthfully our students gain the most experience through volunteering and being a part of it. In fact, I think they are more involved this year," Kerri Yost, chair of the department of film and integrated media said.

Like Yost, many of the faculty had wondered how Stephens' sponsorship served students as a whole.

President Dianne Lynch said the cessation of sponsorship of True/False by Stephens, "was about the space." True/False gave Stephens a list of the spaces they needed, some of that could be given and some that could not.

"They needed to get into the spaces days before the weekend to set everything up," Lynch said.

It was difficult for this to work for True/False and Stephens because a lot of the buildings and locations they were looking for were academic ones. With the timing of classes and the preparation they needed, it wasn't going to work.

Assistant professor of integrated media, Chase Thompson said he believes the change will make the students go out in the field and that is really important in documentary filmmaking. 

"It had become a large strain on the staff, and maybe this year they will actually be able to go out and see the movies," Thompson said.

In a few classes it is required that students participate in the festival. Thompson requires his documentary filmmaking students to volunteer, experiencing learning from their peers and colleagues.  

Still there are a few things that Stephens and True/False are working on directly.

The department of film and integrated media and True/False will present "Spotlight: Women Behind the Scenes at True/False." This will take place from 10a.m. – noon in room 27 of Helis Communication Center at no cost. It will involve a panel discussion with women who work in the film industry.

Though Stephens couldn't give True/False everything they wanted, they recently called Lynch and asked if the school would sponsor a film. Stephens agreed, but the title and location have yet to be disclosed.

The school will continue purchasing tickets for students, as it has done in the past.

To purchase passes and/or volunteer, go to http://

The box office, which is located at 1020 E. Broadway, will open March 1.

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