Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore has announced the lineup for the ninth annual Traverse City Film Festival, to be held July 30 to August 4 in Traverse City, MI. This summer’s festival will feature more great movies, more free and family events, and the grand opening of a brand new, year-round venue. It is anticipated to be the biggest and most exciting festival to date.
“There’s something for everyone here in Traverse City, with one guaranteed promise: we’re the people who show just great movies,” said festival founder, president and programmer Michael Moore.
With over 150 films on the schedule and a record number of industry guests invited, this year’s festival will once again celebrate the year’s best in both American and foreign cinema, hits and hidden gems and a continued focus on bringing important and engaging documentaries to the big screen.
“I can’t wait for the audience to see what we’ve found on our cinematic travels around the world,” Moore continued.
Kicking off this year’s festival will be the latest film from renowned filmmaker Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine.” Broadway legend Elaine Stritch will be in person for the special screening of Chiemi Karasawa’s documentary “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” as will former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and British filmmaker Michael Apted will be bringing “56 Up,” plus his entire “7 Up” Series. More surprise guests and films will be announced in the next two weeks.
As a part of the Traverse City Film Festival’s commitment to celebrating and preserving the art of cinema, TCFF will open a second year-round indie movie theater located in Traverse City called the Bijou by the Bay. The TCFF is restoring the Con Foster Museum, a Traverse City landmark located in the newly renovated Clinch Park on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay. The Bijou will be the new sister screen to the TCFF anchor venue, the State Theatre, recently named the number one movie theater in the world by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Other new additions to the festival this year include daily free Compliments of the Festival screenings, evening panels at the Cinema Salon in Clinch Park and a “newbie” program for first-time festival attendees.
The festival is held in downtown Traverse City, continually recognized as one of the best and most beautiful vacation destinations with some of the greatest cultural events, art, food, wine and entertainment offerings in the country.
Early tickets will be available to the Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival starting Sunday, July 14. There is still time to become a Friend by going to traversecityfilmfest.org. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, July 20. Tickets can be purchased online at traversecityfilmfest.org, or in person at the TCFF Box Office located 128 S. Union Street, above 7 Monks Taproom.
2013 Festival Highlights:
The festival kicks off with “Blue Jasmine” by legendary comic auteur Woody Allen. After a stretch of films set abroad, his latest work brings us back to American soil, where a wealthy New York socialite, played by Cate Blanchett, moves to San Francisco to escape her faltering marriage to a wealthy Wall Street executive, played by Alec Baldwin. With an outstanding cast, including Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and Louis C.K., 2013 will have an opening night to remember.
RENOWNED FILMMAKER MICHAEL APTED IN ATTENDANCE
The Traverse City Film Festival proudly welcomes celebrated British filmmaker Michael Apted, known for his revealing documentaries and his iconic work with James Bond. His groundbreaking “Up” series (“Seven Up!,” “7 Plus Seven,” “21 Up,” “28 Up,” “35 Up,” “42 Up,” and “49 Up”) has followed the trials and tribulations of a group of British children from a variety of backgrounds, taking a snapshot of their lives every seven years. The series will be screened for free at the Dutmers Theater, culminating with a screening of the latest installment, “56 Up,” at the State Theatre.
OPEN SPACE MOVIES
The free Open Space films include “Across the Universe” on July 30, “Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” on July 31, “Some Like it Hot” on August 1, “Independence Day” on August 2, and the People’s Choice vote winner “Apollo 13” on August 3. As a special treat this year, we’re extending Open Space films to Sunday night where we will screen “The Princess Bride” on August 4, preceded by a special community party, the TCFF Closing Night Bash.
BEST OF WORLD CINEMA
“Dancing Queen,” starring two of Korea’s biggest pop stars is a charming comedy and the definition of a feel-good crowd pleaser. Oscar-Nominated Best Foreign Language Film “Kon-Tiki” will be showing along with “Wajdja,” the first feature film ever shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female Saudi filmmaker. We will also be showing hit rom-coms, South African “Fanie Fourie’s Lobola” and Taiwanese “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
DOUG LOVES MOVIES
Comedian Doug Benson (Super High Me, Last Comic Standing, The Benson Interruption) invites his friends to sit down and discuss his first love: movies! Benson, a stand-up sellout at this year’s Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival, is back to record a special live edition of the popular Doug Loves Movies podcast live from the Old Town Playhouse with Michael Moore and special guests.
STATE THEATRE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
As the State Theatre’s celebration of 100 years of showing movies in the historic downtown movie house fast approaches, the festival continues a five-year pre-party with great films from the early days of cinema. Look for classics like “Gold Diggers of 1933,” “The Last Days of Pompeii,” “She Done Him Wrong,” as well as a special screening of “The Phantom of the Opera” accompanied by the world-famous Alloy Orchestra, which Roger Ebert called “the best in the world at accompanying silent films.”
TCFF SHORTS PROGRAMS
The Traverse City Film Festival is honored to have been named to the Documentary Short Subject Qualifying Festival List for the Academy of Motion Pictures Sciences. The winner of the Best Short Documentary Film award at the TCFF is automatically eligible to submit to the Academy for Oscar consideration.
FESTIVAL ON A BUDGET
The festival strives to offer fun experiences for everyone – no matter their budget. With free industry guest panels, free outdoor nightly movies on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, film school sessions for $5, Kids Fest movies for $1 with a free daily lawn party, and free musical performances on the music stage in Clinch Park from 12 noon to 7 pm daily, everyone who attends the festival can have a fun, memorable experience at an affordable price.
TCFF will be wrapping up the ninth annual Film Festival with “Austenland,” starring Keri Russell as a thirty-something with an unhealthy obsession with all things Jane Austen. Lucky for her, there’s Austenland, the ultimate getaway for literary devotees. The directorial debut from “Napoleon Dynamite” screenwriter Jerusha Hess is a rollicking rom-com featuring a supporting cast including Bret Mackenzie and Jennifer Coolidge delivering big laughs.