New Venues Accommodate a Growing True/False Film Festival

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COLUMBIA - Venue changes are the answer to the True/False Film Festival's growing attendance. Coordinators decided to hold the festival's activities in new places this year including Jesse Hall and Missouri United Methodist Church.

Seating was a priority as attendance is projected to break records last year's record of 30,000 participants. Jesse Hall seats more than 1700 at one time and the church holds 350 at maximum. The large audiences are good for revenue, as well as offering an ideal audience platform for filmmakers.

"Documentary filmmakers are amazed when they come here because typically documentaries don't get this type of venue to play, especially Jesse or Missouri, and their films which maybe show to 50, 60, 100 at most, are suddenly being shown to a 1000-1100, people at once," venue coordinator Frank Finley said. 

Venue coordinators also hope to broaden the audience too by making the venue switch.

"We were under-utilizing having a great film festival in Columbia and not using the campus," venue coordinator Jess Soete said. "Hopefully this will open up the venue to more people then our other venues did."

This is not the first time the festival occupied MU's campus. In 2004, the festival hosted film showings at Jesse and preferred the auditorium this year because it went so well years ago.

The True/False Film Festival is branching out in other ways too. An interactive portrait project called "The Picture House" is set up at Missouri United Methodist Church throughout the weekend. Also, a fun run and walk is organized for Saturday at 8 a.m. at Flat Branch Park.