True False Podcast | KBIA

True False Podcast

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. 

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. 

True False Film 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. 

Politics Ditto

Mar 14, 2019

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. 

Within Reason

Mar 7, 2019

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.

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.

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.

Rough Cut (Part 2)

Jan 24, 2019

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.

Rough Cut (Part 1)

Jan 18, 2019

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.

Reflect

Mar 29, 2018

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.


Rejoice

Mar 22, 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.


Reconstruct

Mar 15, 2018

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. 


Director Sandi Tan discusses her complicated relationships with a childhood "frenemy" and the middle-aged mentor with whom they made a film in Singapore in 1992. Tan's documentary SHIRKERS explores why that film was never released. It is playing this year at True/False 2018. 


Director RaMell Ross discusses reimagining depictions of the American South and the flaws of documentary filmmaking. His film HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING follows the lives of two young African-American men in Alabama and is playing this year at True/False 2018. 


True/False programmers Chris Boeckmann and Abby Sun give the inside scoop on can't miss films, revamped shorts programs and this year's True Vision Award recipient: director Dieudo Hamadi.


Director Chico Pereira discusses the role his community and his family played in shaping his film DONKEYOTE, which played at True/False 2017. The films depicts his uncle Manolo's plan to travel from rural Spain to the United States accompanied by his donkey, Gorrión.


Director Peter Nicks discusses the role that the city and people of Oakland play in shaping his work. His most recent documentary, THE FORCE, documents a year of crises in the Oakland Police Department and played at True/False 2017.