Getting Started at True/False 2009

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Yance FordPOV series producer Yance Ford is in Columbia, Missouri for the True/False Film Festival.

Film festivals are usually unpleasant experiences on some level. The lines are ridiculous, the crowds are ridiculous or the schedules are impossibly arranged: You say that there’s a film you really want to see? Try the 8 a.m. show! Oh, it’s too bad you didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m. the night before…

But the word in the doc world has been that True/False is the exact opposite of unpleasant. And I’m here to tell you — that’s exactly right.
Held in the very walkable city of Columbia, Missouri, True/False is a friendly, relaxed festival staffed by an army of volunteers and headed up by David Wilson and Paul Sturtz This year marks my first time at True/False, and already, I’m having a blast!

A window display in Columbia, Missouri for the True/False Film Fest
I arrived yesterday on a bus full of documentary filmmakers, and honestly, the two-hour ride from St. Louis felt like a field trip. Surrounded by some of my favorite folks in documentary film, I got the chance to catch up with Megan Mylan and hear stories of the Oscar night craziness. I also learned that her amazing red dress was designed by her grandmother in the 1930s. Pretty cool.

I also chatted with Colin Beavan (that’s “No Impact Man” to you) whose doc of the same name screens here Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

If you come to True/False, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a festival put together with its audience rather than with industry people in mind. The festival begins on Thursday, but the first screening is at 5 p.m. Got work or class? No problem. You only have to sneak out a few minutes early to see a great doc rather than losing the entire day or skipping the film.

I’m here as a “ringleader” and have a schedule of films to introduce and several post-screening Q&As to conduct. Last night I introduced At the Edge of the World to a full house at the Macklanburg Cinema. Tonight, I’ll intro We Live in Public, Ondi Timoner‘s film about artist Josh Harris and his Big Brother-esque “experiment.” The film was a Sundance hit that I missed and I’m looking forward to the screening.

Later today, the main drag of Columbia, Missouri will be overtaken by the True/False parade — a fun, raucous affair with marching bands and puppets! I’ll have pictures and more from True/False tomorrow.
Want to hear more about Yance’s adventures at True/False? She’ll be twittering throughout the weekend, so follow along.

Yance Ford
Yance Ford
Yance works closely with POV's executive director and programming director to evaluate films submitted to POV She is instrumental in curating the series, a showcase of acclaimed documentary film on PBS. Yance frequently represents POV | American Documentary at conferences, festivals and markets, procuring work from filmmakers both nationally and internationally. Yance also oversees POV's annual call for entries, which yields upwards of one thousand entries, and coordinates POV's annual programming advisory board. Yance is a Programming Consultant and Pre- Screener for film festivals around the country, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival, Latino Public Broadcasting, Creative Capital and the Sundance Film Festival. She has served on festival juries at Full Frame and Silverdocs, appeared on panels at Sunny Side of the Doc and DocuClub and served on the IFP Advisory Committee. A graduate of Hamilton College and the production workshop at Third World Newsreel, Yance is a former Production Stage Manager for the Girls Choir of Harlem and has worked as a Production Manager on numerous independent productions for the Discovery Health and History channels. Ford has also worked in various capacities on the documentaries The Favorite Poem Project, Juanita Anderson, Executive Producer, Brian Lanker's They Drew Fire (PBS), and Barry Levinson's Yesterday's Tomorrows (Showtime). Yance's favorite documentaries include: 1. Hands on a Hard Body 2. Tongues Untied 3. Harlan County, USA 4. Cul de Sac 5. When We Were Kings 6. The Thin Blue Line 7. Night and Fog
  • Chris

    FOREIGNID: 18208
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I’m interested in the point of the festival if it’s not financial or for the industry. What kind of business model is being assumed from the film producer’s standpoint? I think there’s room with this kind of new venture to redefine the indie model, but want to know more…