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Columbia City Council approves tourism development funds for True/False


The Columbia City Council at its meeting on Monday approved tourism development funds for the True/False Film Festival, which takes place annually in Downtown Columbia.

The resolution authorizes a tourism development sponsorship between the city and True/False this year.

The festival will take place March 2-5. There will be roughly 130 screenings. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau Advisory Board discussed this sponsorship in a January meeting, and voted to recommend a $15,000 tourism development fund that would help filmmakers with travel-related expenses.

Barbie Banks, a co-custodian of True/False and the Ragtag Film Society, before the meeting was hopeful the City Council would agree on the money.

"There's a city lodging tax that is paid out whenever you stay in a hotel here in Columbia," Banks said. "That money gets funneled to the Convention of Visitors Bureau to support events like ours, that will bring people to Columbia."

According to Banks, the festival is expected to bring around 30,000 people Downtown throughout the weekend. This number was narrowed down after looking at ticket sales this year in comparison to sales in years prior.

"We kind of reached our peak before the pandemic in 2019 and 2020, where we saw closer to 50,000 people," Banks said. "We see this year as kind of a growing year to get back to where we were."

According to Banks, the money is used to pay for a shuttle service for artists from airports in St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as advertising in areas outside of Columbia.

Banks says that marketing in Chicago does a good job at bringing people down for the weekend. According to officials with True/False, roughly half of all attendee's come from outside the Mid-Missouri area.

The City Council has approved similar measures for the film festival in recent years.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Ethan Heinz


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