COLUMBIA, Mo. (May 3, 2023) — The seventh annual Stronger Than Fiction Film Festival is set for Friday, May 12, at the Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia. The festival will feature free screenings of fifteen short documentary films directed by students in the Missouri School of Journalism’s Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism.
Films will be screened in blocks at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., with each block running for no more than two hours. A jury of industry experts will award prizes to four of the films, which will then play at 2024’s First Look Film Festival in New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image.
“This is the best batch of films yet,” said Murray Center Filmmaker-in-Chief Robert Greene. “We talk a lot in the Murray Center about “earning” the big screen of the Missouri Theatre and beyond, and I’m incredibly proud of these students and what they’ve been able to accomplish with their films.”
This is a diverse set of stories told from the unique perspectives of 15 insanely talented young filmmakers. I’m proud to say that the Murray Center is a world class program, and this year, these emerging filmmakers are showing that with their work.Robert Greene
The festival will also be the first under the tenure of Supervising Producer Sebastián Martínez Valdivia, himself a 2017 graduate of the center who was named to his current role last October. Greene and Martínez co-lead the center.
“It’s been energizing and inspiring to see the work the students have put into these films,” Martínez said. “Even though I’ve only known many of these students for a few months, they have revealed themselves to be a deeply talented and passionate group, and it’s been very gratifying to help produce their films.”
The films mark the culmination of the students’ educational careers at the Murray Center, but to Greene, they also represent the continued success of a program that, as part of the School of Journalism, has been called one of the best film schools in the country.
“This is a diverse set of stories told from the unique perspectives of 15 insanely talented young filmmakers. I’m proud to say that the Murray Center is a world class program, and this year, these emerging filmmakers are showing that with their work,” Greene said.
More information about the festival can be found here, including brief synopses of the featured films.
Student film award winners
Congratulations to the following films and student filmmakers who won awards May 12 at the 2023 Stronger Than Fiction Film Festival at the Missouri Theatre:
- “Gaze” by Morgan Hadley, Special Jury Prize for Cinematography.
- “Home” by Beatričė Bankauskaitė, Best Director.
- “Small Changes” by Maya Bell, Best Film.
- “West” by Bradford Siwak, Stacey Woelfel Award for Innovative Journalism.
Updated: May 18, 2023