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Collaborative Success Stories: Based on a True Story


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The University of Missouri facilitates discussion about the intersection of journalism and documentary filmmaking.

Each year, prominent scholars, award-winning filmmakers, leading critics and industry professionals gather at MU’s Based on a True Story. The conference provides a venue to discuss the convergence of journalism and documentary filmmaking.

The conference is a unique collaboration between academy and the city of Columbia community. Documentary film scholars from MU’s College of Arts and Sciences and specialists from MU’s nationally-renowned School of Journalism host Based on a True Story with the organizers of the independent True/False documentary film festival. With more than 40,000 tickets sold annually, True/False has been called “the premier documentary showcase in America,” attracting top documentarians and funders from around the world.

Based on a True Story has brought prominent guests to MU including Oscar-winning directors as well as critics from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Film Comment. It has also resulted in the development of new, interdisciplinary coursework at MU. Perhaps most impressively, the conference has become part of an extremely successful larger initiative—one that has been fundamental to the development of the University of Missouri’s new Jonathan Murray Center for Documentary Journalism, founded with a $6.7 million gift from MU alumnus Jonathan Murray.

MU and the City of Columbia have now become the destination for documentary dialogue.

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Related Initiative(s):
Media of the Future