Summer Of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
Summer Of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Mass Distraction Media.

True/False Film Fest announced its 2021 slate of 16 new feature films and 23 new short films for the upcoming festival unfolding from May 5-9, 2021, in Columbia, and simultaneously at home via “Teleported True/False.”

Taking place almost entirely outdoors, the Fest will feature the first live screenings of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) as its official opening-night film and repeating as the inaugural “Show Me True/False” communities screening. Summer of Soul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.

One of the first festivals to take place in-person in 2021, True/False will occupy the 116-acre Stephens Lake Park, with four natural amphitheaters hosting physically distanced daytime concerts and events and nighttime film screenings—plus a nearby pop-up drive-in. Meanwhile, Teleported True/False builds an immersive “fest-in-a-box” experience for an audience of cinephiles and film industry folks. Teleported T/F will include a lineup of feature premieres curated from the larger Fest program, along with shorts and retrospective work. Teleported True/False will launch with Delphine’s Prayers, directed by 2021 True Vision honoree Rosine Mbakam.

Six of the feature-length films in this year’s lineup will mark their in-person international and U.S. premieres at True/False: The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World, directed by Claire Simon; This Rain Will Never Stop, directed by Alina Gorlova; From the Wild Sea, directed by Robin Petré; Dirty Feathers, directed by Carlos Alfonso Corral; Petit Samedi, directed by Paloma-Sermon Daï; and Songs that Flood the River, directed by Germán Adolfo Arango.

Impressively, half of this year’s feature lineup are debut features. In addition to the above-mentioned From the Wild Sea, Dirty Feathers, Petit Samedi, and Songs that Flood the River, True/False 2021 will present Inside the Red Brick Wall, directed by HK Documentary Filmmakers; Faya Dayi, directed by Jessica Beshir; No Kings, directed by Emilia Mello; and Rock Bottom Riser, directed by Fern Silva.

True/False 2021 will also screen a number of new films from noted Fest alumni, including Homeroom, the moving third chapter of director Pete Nicks’ Oakland trilogy; All Light, Everywhere, director Theo Anthony’s far-ranging follow-up to his debut, Rat Film (T/F 2017); and Users, directed by Natalia Almada (El Velador, T/F 2016), which is a visually and sonically spectacular rumination on technology and motherhood.

This year’s True Vision Award recipient is True/False alumna Rosine Mbakam, whose newest work, Delphine’s Prayers, will play along with her first feature, The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman. The True Vision Award is presented by Restoration Eye Care. Sabaya, directed by Hogir Hirori, was selected as the recipient of the True Life Fund—a crowd-sourced fund that will support the work of the Yazidi Home Center. Neither/Nor, an annual repertory sidebar series, returns virtually with an interrogation of reality television as it plays with the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking—curated and written about by pop culture critic, comedian, and television writer Ashley Ray-Harris.

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