True/False

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Hi all — as you're probably aware, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. What that means for us at KBIA is all our time is taken up covering what that looks like on the ground here. In light of that, this week's episode is being postponed. We'll be back next week with filmmaker and journalist David France, director of "Welcome to Chechnya," and Maxim Lapunov, one of the subjects of that film. Thank you for your patience, and stay safe: wash your hands, self-isolate as much as possible, and we'll see you next week.
In this week’s episode, True/False Programmer Jeanelle Augustin talks with filmmaker Lance Oppenheim about his latest documentary, “Some Kind of Heaven." In the film, Oppenheim tells the story of residents at The Villages, in Florida - the country’s largest retirement community. The Villages — singular — is home to more than 100,000 retirees, and boasts 12 golf courses, three libraries, and no residents under 55. The rows of houses and town squares are designed to evoke an American yesteryear that can be disconcerting and disorienting, making it rich material for a Oppenheim, a filmmaker habitually drawn to weird places.
Climate change is an issue so broad and pervasive it is easy to abstract. It looms large over so many aspects of life it can feel less like a subject to explore, and more like a mood or a feeling, a doom permeating aspects of every story told in the 20th century. But instead of approaching it from a distance, or preparing a sanitized lecture, in her newest film The Hottest August, filmmaker and True/False alum Brett Story looks for the climate crisis’s many intersections, with labor, with capitalism, and the human psyche. Story is a geographer, and both Hottest August and her previous feature The Prison in Twelve Landscapes explore their subject matter through place, and people’s relationships with the places they inhabit.
A film can never exactly capture how we experience a moment, or time passing, but it can evoke those sensations through its structure or editing or cinematography. In this week’s episode, we talk with a filmmaker whose films reflect that conflict — True/False alum Sophy Romvari. She’s a Toronto-based filmmaker who has primarily worked in the world of non-fiction shorts, including “Pumpkin Movie,” which screened at True/False 2018.
On this week's episode, we're previewing some of the films coming to True/False this year, with festival programmers Jeanelle Augustin, Chris Boeckmann and Amir George. The line-up includes a whopping 38 feature films, 26 shorts and multiple repertory programs. Jeanelle, Chris and Amir talk us through some of this year's world premieres, potential crowd-pleasers and can't miss screenings.
Having your work rejected is part and parcel of being a filmmaker, be it when submitting to festivals, applying for funding, trying to sell a film or get distribution. But it can be hard to separate self worth from work, or to reconcile the reality of the industry with personal beliefs and values. These are all issues filmmaker and artist Zia Anger touches on in her multi-media performance "My First Film." Anger sat down with us to talk about how the show, which traces the production of a "failed" feature film she directed, has helped her to reflect on her work, and has provided a different kind of catharsis.
In the world of nonfiction filmmaking, the idea of "engagement" is often raised as a key part of the process. How does a film engage the audience, or with its subjects, what conversations does it start, or augment? For Robert Greene, whose film "Bisbee '17" screened at the 2018 True/False Film Festival, engagement offers an opportunity to counter the exploitative aspect of documentary filmmaking. And in the case of "Bisbee '17" it meant going back to the eponymous town year after year to continue the conversation.
The next season of the True/False Podcast doesn't start up for a few more months still, but we thought it was a good time to re-feature an episode from last season. The Edge of Democracy , which screened at this year's festival, is now streaming on Netflix, so we're bringing back our episode with the film's director, Petra Costa. In The Edge of Democracy Costa uses her own personal experiences – her memories, and family history as a lens through which to view Brazil’s recent political turmoil – the impeachment of Dilma Roussef and the election of Jair Bolsonaro. This episode features a conversation from this year’s fest between Costa and Nanfu Wang, who directed One Child Nation, which itself will be in select theaters in August.
Bumpers are the short films that play before screenings at festivals. True/False has different bumpers for each day of the festival, each related to that year's theme. For this episode of the True/False Podcast, Allison Coffelt sat down with Chelsea Myers, of Tiny Attic Productions, which produced the bumpers for this year's festival.
In this archived edition of the True False podcast, we revisit a conversation with film-maker Deborah Stratman about the power of voice in her film "The Illinois Parables." Stratman spoke with 2016 True False programmer Pamela Cohn, and we revisit the conversation in this edition of the True False podcast.
Sometimes, documentary shorts can be seen as stepping stones for filmmakers who want to direct feature-length films, or as afterthoughts on a festival program. But, given their lower costs and shorter runtimes, shorts can allow for a wealth of experimentation, with narrative and format, that features couldn't sustain. On this episode of the True/False Podcast, filmmaker Charlie Lyne sits down to discuss the differences between the two forms, and the unique and varied offerings short-form filmmaking has to offer.
Figuring out how to tell large-scale stories that affect millions of people can be a daunting task for any filmmaker. Sometimes, personal experience is the most effective way in. In this conversation, taken from the Field Session "Politics Ditto," from this year's festival, directors Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation) and Petra Costa (The Edge of Democracy) talk about how they interwove the personal and the political in their films.
Anand Patwardhan is a filmmaker who has been making documentaries on the socio-political reality of India for over four decades. His latest film, a four-hour and twenty-minute epic titled "Reason," chronicles India's shift from secular democracy toward Hindu fundamentalism and was shown at this year's True/False Film Fest. Although audiences in Columbia were able to see the film, Patwardhan has been fighting to show it in India, where he has been stymied by government censorship. Patwardhan sat down with Poh Lin Lee (star, "Island of the Hungry Ghosts") to discuss the importance of speaking out during their Field Session at True/False 2019.
Emelie Mahdavian is the writer, editor and producer of this year's True Life Fund recipient "Midnight Traveler," showing at True False 2019. The film is directed by film-maker Hassan Fazili, who documented his own family's journey from Afghanistan as they fled the Taliban. Fazili shot the entire film on three cell phones. In this conversation, host Allison Coffelt talks with Mahdavian about the film's revelations on the asylum process, the nature of family and the elusiveness of happy endings.
In his first feature film, “No data plan,” True/False alum Miko Revereza eschews a faceless off-screen narrator in favor of a voiceless, subtitled one, along with interviews of friends and family. “No data plan” reinvents the road trip movie as a film where the bulk of the action happens off-screen.
In this episode, we’ll be listening to a conversation between True/False’s Paul Sturtz and Dora Garcia, director of the film “ Segunda Vez ." The staged documentary is anchored in the “happenings” - which are part performance art pieces, part social experiments - of Argentinian theorist and psychoanalyst Oscar Masotta. He was influential in morphing the artistic landscape of Buenos Aires in the 1960s, and brought the theories of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan to the Spanish-speaking world. Masotta died in 1979. The film repeats the happenings he staged decades ago, and uses repetition and time to give a window into this period in Argentinian history.
On this episode, we’re previewing this year’s films and filmmakers with three True/False programmers, Chris Boeckmann, Amir George and Abby Sun. This year’s True/False film line-up includes 36 new nonfiction films, 5 repertory films, and 18 new shorts. With so many films, we’ve asked Chris, Amir and Abby to talk us through some titles.
WIth upbeat and affirmational songs like “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” and “It’s You I Like,” music was at the heart of Mister Rogers’ message, and how he expressed his worldview. It’s fitting, then, that music plays a key part in Academy Award Winner Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which screened at True/False 2018. The film explores Rogers’ life and work, but it’s more than a biopic: the film privileges Fred Rogers’ ideas over his personal history, and asks its viewers to consider where and how those ideas live today.
Directors Agnieszka Zwiefka and Daniel Hymanson attended the 2018 Rough Cut Retreat; where they got feedback on early versions of their films. We checked in with them about 6 months later to get an intimate view of the filmmaking process in real time. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the responsibility a filmmaker has to their audience, and to their subjects.
Directors Mo Scarpelli, Hannah Jayanti and Elizabeth Lo all attended the 2018 Rough Cut Retreat; where they got feedback on early versions of their films. We checked in with them about 6 months later to get an intimate view of the filmmaking process in real time. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the cutting room floor. How do you decide what to exclude? How do you edit to re-frame your story? And what happens when you realize you don’t have enough?
Kimberly Reed thought campaign finance was too complex for a documentary. But that was before her home state of Montana began fighting back against anonymous money. Allison Coffelt talks with Director Kimberly Reed about the making of a true-life political thriller, on this episode of the True/False podcast.
Directors Kim Hopkins (VOICES OF THE SEA) , Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside (AMERICA) spent significant time with their subjects, close-knit families in Cuba and Mexico, respectively. Listen in on these three as they consider the many things they have in common during their Field Session at True/False 2018.
Over years of editing, both Leilah Weinraub (SHAKEDOWN) and RaMell Ross (HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING) found themselves migrating away from conventional cinematic languages. In a conversation during True/False 2018 they discussed how they are both seeking to reshape documentary grammar and expand the way films portray black life.
Fellipe Barbosa built his latest film ( GABRIEL AND THE MOUNTAIN) around the remnants of his friend Gabriel's life, from his photographs to excerpts of his diary. Matt Holzman’s podcast, KCRW’s The Document, extracts new audio stories from the footage of documentary films. Fellipe and Matt spoke about sifting fresh work out of raw material during their Field Session at True/False 2018.
Director Laura Bari discusses the intimate, emotional and uncomfortable depictions of her own family in her film PRIMAS. The film is the True Life Fund selection for True/False 2018. Money raised by the Fund will benefit Bari's nieces who are the subjects of the film.
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Podcast Details

Created by
KBIA
Podcast Status
Hiatus/Finished
Started
Feb 16th, 2017
Latest Episode
Mar 12th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
47
Avg. Episode Length
25 minutes
Explicit
No
Language
English

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