Truth Or Consequences

An imploring, poetic and captivating portrait of a tiny little town in the desert of New Mexico that changed its name for a radio show. A story about 15 minutes of fame, 64 years later, but also about the elusive mystique and charm of everyday American life.

Near the end of 1949 the popular American radio show "Truth or Consequences" launched a remarkable question: the city that renamed itself after the popular quiz would be given the honor to host the tenth anniversary broadcast. A number of cities put themselves forward, but in the end the honors went to Hot Springs, New Mexico. A place that best suited the philosophy of the program, which was "a real friendliness for people and a desire to help mankind." For a little while 'Truth or Consequences', the radio show and the small town in the desert with the same brand new name, made national news. Long after the media storm had passed, the presenter of the program would visit the small town every year, as its name was shortened to "TorC". More than half a century later, the radio show has long been shut down, but the name change is commemorated every year during the annual "Fiesta celebration”. The film paints a mesmerizing, poetic and endearing portrait of the desert town "Truth or Consequences" and exposes a piece of America’s soul.

  • Sam Ostyn
    Director, Writer, Executive Producer
  • Olivier Smets
  • Steven Vanhyfte
  • Christophe Légère
  • Elisabeth Verwaest
  • Koen Holtkamp (Mountains)
    Composer (Soundtrack)
  • Brendon Anderegg (Mountains)
    Composer (Soundtrack)
  • Sam Ostyn
    Post-production & Music Supervisor
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 6 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 25, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Docville International Documentary Film Festival
    May 4, 2016
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography

Sam Ostyn (1978) is a Belgian director, filmmaker and producer who was active for many years as a music producer before starting "Helical Films", a production company specialized in documentary films. Not only did he direct the film, but he was also the producer, post-production and music supervisor. His self-financed directing debut was immediately selected at the Docville International Documentary Film Festival in 2016.

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