Documentaries from filmmakers Shevaun Mizrahi, Viktor Jakovleski and Jonathan Olshefski will bow at the 14th annual True/False Film Festival in March.
The festival’s slate of films is expected to push the boundaries of non-fiction filmmaking and includes Mizrahi’s Distant Constellation (pictured), a work-in-progress in a test screening which details the inhabitants of a Turkish retirement home; Jakovleski’s Brimstone & Glory, chronicling a pilgrimage to Mexico’s National Pyrotechnic Festival; and Olshefski’s True Life Fund Film Quest, which spotlights one Philadelphia family’s highs and lows over the course of a decade.
International titles screening at the Columbia, Missouri-based festival, which runs March 2-5, includes Steve James‘ ABACUS: Small Enough To Jail , capturing the only bank targeted in the 2008 financial meltdown; Kitty Green’s Netflix film Casting JonBenet, about the murder of the Colorado child beauty queen; Amir Bar-Lev‘s Long Strange Trip, detailing the journey of seminal rock band The Grateful Dead; Maite Alberdi’s The Grown-Ups, following two adults with Down syndrome as they navigate the complexities of life; and Claire Simon’s Récréations (1992), showcasing applicants to a prestigious French film school as they run a gauntlet of judges.
Further international titles screening at True/False include Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s The Road Movie, touring Russia through dash-cam footage; Ulrich Seidl‘s Safari, tracing a retro Austrian family as they hunt in Nambia; Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard’s The War Show, shadowing a group of Syrian friends through the Arab Spring; and Lea Glob and Mette Carla Albrechtsen’s Venus, which reveals intimate stories of young Danish women.
The full list of titles screening at the True/False Film Festival can be found below, with film descriptions provided by the festival:
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Dir. Steve James; 2016; 90 min.
The Sungs were an all-American immigrant success story – until they were targeted in the 2008 financial meltdown. From the director of The Interrupters.
Brimstone & Glory
Dir. Viktor Jakovleski; 2017; 64 min.
A heart-stopping, visually acrobatic pilgrimage to Mexico’s National Pyrotechnic Festival. Presented by Spirit of ’76 Fireworks
Dir. Kitty Green; 2017; 80 min.
The murder of JonBenet Ramsey is only the beginning in this mind-blowing cinematic puzzle box.
Dir. Yuri Ancarani; 2016; 70 min.
The 4,000-year-old tradition of falconry tethers this spellbinding trek through gold-plated excess in the Arabian Peninsula.
Dir. Anna Zamecka; 2016; 72 min.
Fourteen-year-old Ola becomes the default caretaker for her irreverent brother, Nikodem, in this exquisite film.
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Dir. Travis Wilkerson; 2017; 70 min.
This emotionally intense live performance uses the framework of a murder mystery to reckon with one family’s racist legacy.
Dir. Dan Sickles & Antonio Santini; 102 min.
Dina may have a “smorgasbord of issues,” but she’s resilient and in love.
Dir. Shevaun Mizrahi; 2017; 80 min.
Full of Tarkovskian atmospherics and featuring the inhabitants of a Turkish retirement home – pranksters, historians, artists and would-be Casanovas.
Dir. Chico Pereira; 2017; 86 min.
Manolo’s dream is to walk the Trail of Tears with his trusted four-legged companion, Gorrión, but is he tilting at windmills?
Dir. Peter Nicks; 2017; 93 min.
Break through the blue wall of the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to recapture the trust of the community.
Dir. Claire Simon; 2016; 120 min.
Applicants to a prestigious French film school must run a gauntlet of judges. Filmed by True Vision recipient Claire Simon. Presented by Restoration Eye Care
Dir. Maite Alberdi; 2016; 83 min.
A candy-colored romance featuring Anita and Andres – two adults navigating the intricacies of life with Down syndrome.
Gulîstan, Land of Roses
Dir. Zaynê Akyol; 2016; 84 min.
An all-female regiment of guerillas in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party prepares for war against Daesh.
Dir. Adam Curtis; 2016; 187 min.
Adam Curtis (2015 True Vision recipient) unearths improbable connections between Jane Fonda workout tapes, Tech Bro utopianists, and the new regime’s fake news. The runtime includes a 20-minute intermission.
I Am Not Your Negro
Dir. Raoul Peck; 2016; 93 min.
James Baldwin’s eloquent writing powerfully connects the ’60s with today in this revelatory documentary.
Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2
Dir. Florent Vassault; 2017; 84 min.
Lindy Lou sets out on an unconventional road trip across the South, tracking down her fellow jurors who sentenced a man to die.
Long Strange Trip
Dir. Amir Bar-Lev; 2017; 259 min.
Counterculture icons the Grateful Dead were an unlikely utopian experiment illuminated by five decades of recordings and photos. The runtime includes a 20-minute intermission.
Dir. Alma Har’el; 2016; 82 min.
Elation and disappointment swell and break in three ethereal portraits of young love from Hawaii, Alaska, and New York City.
Dir. Julian Rosefeldt; 2017; 90 min.
Cate Blanchett shapeshifts from hobo to rocker to anchorwoman and beyond, audaciously proclaiming 50 versions of The Future.
Dir. Claire Simon; 2003; 105 min.
Mimi Chiola has been waiting her whole life for an audience to dazzle with her star power. True Vision recipient Claire Simon’s camera captures a day in her life.
Miss Kiet’s Children
Dir. Petra Lataster-Czisch & Peter Lataster; 2016; 114 min.
A beguiling, kid’s-eye view of a Dutch classroom run by an everyday hero.
Dir. Jonathan Olshefski; 2017; 105 min.
This epic labor of love vividly spotlights one Philadelphia family’s highs and lows over the course of a decade. True Life Fund Film (Presented by The Crossing)
Dir. Sompot Chidgasornpongse; 2016; 102 min.
Filmed on every active line of the Thai railway system, this humanistic gem flits between passengers, eavesdropping on their conversations.
Dir. Theo Anthony; 2016; 82 min.
An eccentric, era-hopping essay about a Baltimore that is born and reborn daily, presided over by some four-footed denizens.
Dir. Claire Simon; 1992; 54 min.
Lord of the Flies on a French playground, as filmed by True Vision recipient Claire Simon.
The Road Movie
Dir. Dmitrii Kalashnikov; 2016; 67 min.
A raucous tour of a Russia whose dash-cam footage supplies both morbid marvels and insight into an off-the-rails culture.
Dir. Ulrich Seidl; 2016; 90 min.
A hunting we will go, as master Ulrich Seidl escorts us to Namibia, accompanied by a retro, Austrian family.
Secret Screening Argon
2017; 86 min.
The mythic outlaw looms large in the American consciousness, but this story is more complex than mere heroes and villains.
Secret Screening Krypton
2016; 84 min.
The inspiring collision of working-class desperation and determination.
Secret Screening Xenon
2017; 91 min.
An outlandish figure crosses an ethical Rubicon, setting off a chain reaction.
Shorts: Antonio + Edith + Eddie
Can’t they get some peace? We track down an exile in Brazil, then interrupt the oldest interracial newlyweds in the U.S.
Shorts: Making Good Neighbors
Fences and walls can’t contain these five investigations of The Other.
Shorts: The New Family
Family is constantly being redefined: these three inspired works go nuclear in a most unconventional way.
Shorts: The World Laughs With You
Even in dark times, it pays to look on the bright side of life, as evinced in these six works.
Shorts: Young Money
Youth is not wasted on the young in these four tactile portraits.
Dir. Amanda Lipitz; 2017; 83 min.
Senior year at a Baltimore charter school, and the irrepressible step dance team balances prepping for college with gunning for the all-city championship.
Dir. FAN Jian; 2016; 88 min.
When a feminist Chinese poet’s work goes viral, her new celebrity doesn’t sit well with her husband of twenty years.
Stranger in Paradise
Dir. Guido Hendrikx; 2016; 72 min.
Smug, conventional wisdom falls by the wayside as this masterful provocation implicates us all in the refugee crisis.
Dir. Yance Ford; 2017; 107 min.
With catharsis if not closure, director Ford investigates his brother’s murder and the repercussions that shook the family.
Dir. Lea Glob & Mette Carla Albrechtsen; 2016; 80 min.
Intimate interviews with young women in Copenhagen, who bravely share their fantasies, fears, and more.
The War Show
Dir. Obaidah Zytoon & Andreas Dalsgaard; 2016; 101 min.
A bohemian group of friends get caught up in the intoxicating energy of the Arab Spring, risking everything for a new Syria.
Dir. Sabaah Folayan; 2016; 94 min
This is what heroism looks like: a grassroots film about the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, fighting for equal access to the American Dream.