This year’s True/False merch shows ethereal themes

Come “Out of the Ether” and into True/False.
True/False merchandise including everything from beakers to t-shirts can be found at the new Box Office located at the Sager Braudis Art Gallery and this year's True/False box office.

“Out of the Ether,” this year’s True/False Film Fest theme, has led to some interesting and otherworldly merchandise.

Designs show alchemy cabinets, periodic tables and strange-looking machines to display various aspects of the theme. The official merchandise spot in the 2017 box office, Sager Braudis Gallery, is smaller this year, but there’s still quite a bit of merchandise available there. The merch station is open when the box office is and was open for a few days before the fest as well. Starting Wednesday at noon, you can pick up your passes and favorite festival merch.

There are nine different T-shirts for True/False, each for $20, as well as a baseball tee for $28 and sweatshirts and long-sleeved shirts for various prices. Most shirts have alchemic, scientific or psychic themes. There are enough styles that there’s something for every type of festival-goer. If your True/False style is a little more dapper, pick up one of the neckties or bowties printed with tiny festival logos. If you have little ones, get them a True/False onesie or bib. Some designs are great standbys you’ll find year after year.

“There are some reoccurring designs for tees,” said Nickie Davis, Muse Clothing owner and True/False merchandise assistant. “The designs are always clean but intricate.”

Aside from apparel, there is classic True/False merch you can pick up. There are posters, both for this year’s festival and certain past ones, and as usual, the 10-year anniversary book, “Rarely Has Reality Needed So Much to be Re-imagined: A mostly true history of the True/False Film Fest” is for sale. Other merch items include stickers, patches, drinking glasses, flasks, tea towels, notebooks and enough to make sure that every aspect of your life can somehow be related to True/False.

New this year is a portable phone charger with the True/False logo, a lifesaver for all-day festival-goers. If you long for the designs of festivals past, this year you can purchase upcycled scarves made of various old True/False T-shirts. In keeping with the theme of “Out of the Ether,” there are Erlenmeyer flasks with the True/False logo on them as well, which you could use for drinking or to spice up your next chemistry experiment.

Designs are not all done by professional artists; rather, they are chosen through a submission process that opened in October, merchandise coordinator Christina Kelley said. Some local high school graphic design teachers assign the submission to their classes, and some submissions have come in from around the world.

Each year, True/False sponsors the True Life Fund, which raises money to donate to the subject of one of the festival’s documentary subjects. This year the funds will go to the family featured in Quest, according to the True/False website. A True Life Fund T-shirt and tote bag are two ways money is raised.

“For the True Life Fund, we work with a graphic designer,” Kelley said. “$10 of the $20 [cost of the shirt] goes to the fund.”

Muse Clothing serves as a pop-up shop for True/False merchandise, both before the fest and afterwards. Beforehand, you can look through merch of the fest the year before and afterwards, you can check out this year’s designs. It’s not a full selection, but you can get a sense of the style of the festival.

“True/False loves artistically made, local things,” Davis said. “Literally everything is one of a kind to True/False.”

Merch will also be sold during the fest at the Missouri Theatre and Jesse Hall during hours when films are screening in those venues, according to the True/False website. Sager Braudis will still be open after the festival on March 7 to sell any merch people wish they’d picked up.

Edited by Katherine White |

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