All sessions are free and open to the public. No tickets necessary!
Note on COVID-19 attendance policy: The BOATS conference will follow the same COVID protocols as the True/False Film Fest. See the festival policy here.
JULIA REICHERT: THE MOVEMENT NEVER ENDS
7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m. \\ Ragtag Cinema
We will celebrate the life of our beloved friend, the late great filmmaker Julia Reichert, by going on a uniquely personal journey with her longtime partner Steven Bognar. There will be never-before-seen interviews, home movies, clips from films and more as Bognar workshops an ongoing project that’s an attempt to both process the loss and celebrate the life of the woman many considered the godmother of documentary. Julia loved True/False and came back to Columbia every March, so it is beautifully appropriate to kick off the month and Based On A True Story with a remembrance of her life and work. The talk and screening will be attended by members of their family and moderated by Julia’s longtime friend Eric Hynes.
AMERICAN GLASS FACTORY: A LIVE PODCAST
9:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m. \\ Smith Forum
What does the U.S. Democratic Party share with observational documentary? The promise and the problem of transparency. In a live performance from the forthcoming audio series "Trust Issues," filmmaker and World Records editor Jason Fox explores the sixty-year long relationship between Direct Cinema and Democratic Party politics. Fox will trace these ties, from Robert Drew’s pioneering 1960 portrait of the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary contest between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, Primary, to Michelle and Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions and the Oscar winning documentary, American Factory.
BAD PRESS: THE FIGHT FOR FREE INDIGENOUS JOURNALISM
10:15 a.m. — 11:15 a.m. \\ Smith Forum
Independent journalism is something that can be taken for granted in the United States, but in one indigenous sovereign nation, press freedom is a contested idea. No one knows that better than Angel Ellis, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, who has served as director of Mvskoke Media since 2020. Ellis’s struggle against censorship is the subject of Bad Press, the True Life Fund recipient at this year’s True/False Film Festival. Ellis will discuss her fight, and the experience of being documented as a journalist, with Bad Press co-director Joe Peeler and moderator Jeanelle Augustin.
This panel is sponsored by NBCU Academy, through its Original Voices Fellowship.
TEAM TIME BOMB MAKES A MOVIE
11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. \\ Smith Forum
Almost the entire team behind the True/False world premiere TIME BOMB Y2K, an all archival film co-directed by Brian Becker and Marley McDonald that looks at the Y2K scare, will transform Smith Forum into their satellite office and use this session to make a film… right in front of our eyes. In this interactive workshop, we will pitch this dream team, which includes the co-directors, producers, editors and even their music composer calling in from Copenhagen, an archival footage-based idea and they will give us an unprecedented look at their collaborative process as they work to turn the idea into a project.
We will get an intimate perspective on the methods and challenges of working with archival material, finding narrative moments, acquiring the footage and turning it into a movie. This never-before-attempted experiment will be moderated by TIME BOMB Y2K Executive Producer Penny Lane.
INFINITE BEAUTY: COUNTER-PROGRAMMING MUSLIM + MENASA IDENTITY ONSCREEN
2:30 p.m. — 4:00 p.m. \\ Ragtag Cinema
The term “MENASA” (Middle East, North African, and South Asian) encompasses a wide diversity of cultures, loosely linked by the idea that the people of these regions are perceived as practicing or having a significant proximity to the practice of Islam. Yet the films exploring this identity that reach audiences in the West are too often limited in depth and range. How can one begin to challenge pervasive and deeply harmful stereotypes about their communities, narratives that have been embedded in film, literature, and journalism for centuries? In the wake of crises, such as the 2022 call-in to the film community to do better by MENASA people, The Museum of the Moving Image gave filmmaker and critic Farihah Zaman the chance to build the world she would like to see. The ongoing monthly series is titled Infinite Beauty, in honor of Islam’s emphasis on seeing the infinite array of beauty in the natural world, and the stunning range of depictions of Muslim lives, bodies, and ideas that mirrors that attitude of abundance.
This session will consider the impact of programming counter to dominant culture, screen several short films that center Muslim + MENASA identity and/or perspective, and follow with a discussion of these works, how they do or do not engage with questions of identity, and the particular nature of their beauty. This session will feature screenings of the following films: Irani Bag, Echolocation, Ghosts of Sugar Land, So What If The Goats Die.
This program is presented in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image.
‘FIRST PERSON’ WITH TABITHA JACKSON