FQ columnist Bilal Qureshi reports from his first visit to the documentary film festival True/False in Columbia, Missouri. Overcoming his initial trepidation—both at the prospect of traveling just as the coronavirus was gathering steam and at the festival's regional location—Qureshi finds himself falling in love with film festivals all over again. Yet the contact high of the collective experience provided by the festival, with its freedom to collide with films and audiences through impromptu gatherings and celebrations, takes on a heightened poignancy in this moment of COVID-19. While noting the uncertainties of the new cinematic and social order that will emerge post-COVID, Qureshi hopes that the opportunity to press reset might result in more small-scale, community-focused festivals like True/False.
Elsewhere: The Last Circus
Bilal Qureshi is a radio journalist and cultural critic exploring the intersection of international politics, identity and art. From 2008 to 2015, he served as producer and editor for NPR's All Things Considered. He now profiles authors, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians for the network. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. He also co-hosts the FQ podcasts for Film Quarterly.
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Bilal Qureshi; Elsewhere: The Last Circus. Film Quarterly 1 September 2020; 74 (1): 84–87. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2020.74.1.84
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