Film buffs from across the country flocked to downtown this weekend for the True/False Film Fest.
The annual festival, which held its main parade Friday, also drew many student volunteers.
Sophomore Kaileen Gaul volunteered for the first time by assisting with the True Life Run. The race’s winner won two passes to next year’s festival. The run included various obstacles, ranging from extreme hopscotch to a double-dutch gauntlet.
“My job was to be dressed up as a rabbit, so I wore bunny ears, and if people caught me then they got a time bonus,” Gaul said. “I was expecting children, but these were like straight-up marathon runners. There were these 28-year-old adults just sprinting at me.”
Freshman Ian Meyer and sophomore Colleen Roetemeyer also volunteered for the festival, and they both said they saw many familiar faces throughout the weekend.
“We also volunteer for (the Columbia Art League’s) Art in the Park, and I’ve gone around and seen volunteers that we work with volunteering for True/False as well, so you get this weird volunteer network that you make connections with,” Roetemeyer said. “It’s really cool to see those core members spread their volunteering wealth.”
With volunteers coming from all different backgrounds, Gaul said she saw the weekend as an opportunity to meet new members of the community.
“Columbia has a lot of really interesting people,” Gaul said. “It helps you branch out besides just Mizzou, and I think more students should do it because it's a great way to get involved with the community.”
Gaul recommends volunteering to students. With a volunteer pass, volunteers can “Q” for films without having to pay for a ticket.
“I know a lot of people complain, ‘I've only got enough money to see two films,’ ” Gaul said. “But if you volunteer, you get much more involved with the experience — and get to see free films.”
True/False also boasts an extensive music scene, with “buskers,” as the musicians are called, performing at venues before each screening.
Gaul said she experienced more music this year, volunteering at Busker’s Last Stand on the closing night of the festival.
“All the bands hung out in the lobby of the Missouri Theatre, and it was the coolest thing ever,” Gaul said. “They just played songs and went back and forth, and all joined at the end. That was one of the coolest things I've seen. It was just a bunch of folksy bands, and it was really fun.”
Meyer said aside from going to films, his favorite part of the festival was seeing Columbia come alive as a city.
“I think Columbia has the potential to become a larger city, but we’re still in that transformation process,” Meyer said. “True/False is kind of like a glimpse into the future, like this is how Columbia will start to be, more often. I just hope that it gets bigger and bigger.”