Skip to Content

True/False grateful for community support after fire, festival set to go on Feb. 29


True/False Film Fest prepares for its annual festival Feb. 29-March 3 after recovering from a September fire.

A fire broke out in a Downtown Columbia building at the corner of Ninth and Broadway streets on Sept. 15. True/False Executive Director Arin Liberman told ABC 17 News that the fest's day-to-day operations kept moving. However, the fire did slow them down a bit, as far as finding a new space and refocusing their attention on damage control.

"It was a really difficult hurdle that we did not need. But, you know, we were incredibly lucky," Liberman said. "Everyone was safe. All of our operations that ragtag were able to keep going."

The fire was determined to be accidental and may have been caused by a malfunctioning microwave, according to a report from the Columbia Fire Department. The fire caused $250,000 in damage to the building and another $100,000 in damage to its contents, according to the report. The fire had caused Tellers, a restaurant in the lower level of the building, to close. Tellers wrote on social media last month that it planned to reopen.

True/False started relief fund at the time on its website that stated damage included projection equipment, computers, furniture and supplies, losing about $75,000 of inventory. True/False then raised more than $10,000 from the community to replace equipment on its fire relief form page.

"That kind of initial fire recovery fund helped us do was replace sort of the very immediate things. You know, not everything that we lost needed to be replaced right away," Liberman said. "You know, I think we've we've got what we need for for this festival and then we'll kind of, you know, take a take a beat and figure out what else needs to be replaced over time."

Liberman said that there were some items lost in the fire that was irreplaceable, but the fest was grateful for the support from the community.

"You know, people want to help. And so you know, people were offering spaces or offering, you know, time and energy or offering money. And so, you know, just having kind of a range of options of ways that people could help with this thing that they care about," Liberman said.

The True/False Film Fest in Columbia announced the lineup of movies that can be viewed at this year’s fest in a Wednesday press release.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Jump to comments ↓

Jazsmin Halliburton


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content