True False Film Festival Brings Money to Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau told KOMU 8 News Wednesday that the True/False Film Fest will bring an economic boom to the city next weekend, Feb. 27- Mar. 2. 

The bureau said the festival brings people who spend money regularly in Columbia, as well as national and even international visitors. 

According to the most recent survey, 89 percent of True/False attendees come from out of town.

"In it's past 11 years True/False has really become a very distinctive event, not just for Columbia, but for the entire film industry," Megan McConachie, Web and Communications Manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau said. "So, it is definitely this kind of treasure that we have here. We are so excited for it to roll around again and see what sort of films make a big splash here."

In 2011, 44.9 percent of True/False attendees were first time visitors to Columbia, and 89.2 percent stayed overnight just for the festival. On average, people spent 3.7 nights in Columbia.

McConachie said tourism saves Columbia citizens an average of $1,000 in taxes.

"Not just with True/False visitors, but anytime that someone comes to visit Columbia and they spend the night in a hotel or they shop somewhere, whether it is Wal-Mart or whether it is somewhere in the district, they pay sales tax that helps offset the taxes that citizens normally pay," McConachie said.

McConachie also said the visitors help get the streets repaired, and they help pay for police officers just by generating those sales tax dollars every year.

True/False and Roots N Blues N BBQ are the two headliner festivals, but the Heritage Festival, Art in the Park, and The Blind Boone Ragtime Festival also bring people to Columbia.

"True/False is definitely one of our hallmark festivals, so as the Convention and Visitors Bureau we promote it throughout the year and then we of course have really big pushes as tickets go on sale and ticket reservations go up," McConachie said.

She said the festivals are a great opportunity to show off the community. McConachie said she thinks True/False is weekend is Columbia at its best.

True/False officially starts on Thursday, February 27. For a schedule, visit the True False website.