We are thrilled to announce that the Traverse City Film Festival has again been named to MovieMaker Magazine‘s list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World! Citing our warmth, energy, supportive atmosphere, and awesome offerings like movies on a boat, we join some pretty esteemed company! Read what MovieMaker had to say and see complete list here.
The most recent edition of “The Documentary Podcast” for the Detroit Free Press features a special report on location at the Traverse City Film Festival. Listen below to hear interviews with “Deep Web” director and noted actor Alex Winter, “Do I Sound Gay?” director David Thorpe, and “Drunk Brilliant Stoned Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon” director Douglas Tirola.
Hosts Steve Byrne and Kathy Kieliszewski also discuss some other TCFF doc favorites including Founders Special Prize winner “The Wolfpack,” “From this Day Forward,” and “A Courtship.”
Each summer the TCFF partners with Interlochen Arts Camp Documentary Film program to offer the students a unique behind-the-scenes look at the festival that gives them the chance to make their own mini doc about one the festival’s visiting filmmakers.
This year the students followed filmmakers Jeremy Royce and Jerry White Jr. as they premiered their film “20 Years of Madness.” Watch the final product below!
Participating students included: Shayna Kobrinetz, Max Mahoney, Nathan Ginter, Joji Baratelli, Sara Sammons, Gavin Koepke, Santiago Benito, Jeffrey Kemp.
Thank you for being part of an amazing celebration of film in beautiful Downtown Traverse City! Whether you volunteered, attended a free panel, listened to music in Clinch Park, went to one of our parties, or watched as many films as your schedule allowed, you played an important role in the transformation this city undergoes for one magical week — a transformation that leaves it mark long after the last film comes off screen and we roll up the red carpet.
This year’s festival included some of the best films we’ve ever brought, and more filmmakers to share the stories of those films than ever before. Over 100,000 admissions attended 250 screenings of 123 feature films and 121 shorts across 13 different venues this year — record high numbers!
Everyone I’ve spoken with has their own special moment from the festival — for me, it was being able to sit on the stage with the man from Detroit (Roger Corman) who discovered James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Jack Nicholson, and Francis Ford Coppola…and then be regaled with stories from Geraldine Chaplin about her and her father’s (Charlie Chaplin) careers…and then listen to Kathryn Altman, the widow of Robert Altman, discuss the making of “Nashville” after we showed it on the giant screen at the State. She said, “Thanks to your beautiful projection and screen, I saw things in the film I had never seen before.” Needless to say, I felt proud of the work we have all done to create one of the top cinemas in the world and have her experience this moment.
We saw the return of festival favorites like Movies on a Boat, free movies all day and night at The Buzz, and Movies Around the Bay, now featuring the Cherry Bowl Drive-In of Honor!
Our improved showcase of new media, rechristened “The Woz,” wowed people with its virtual reality technology like Oculus Rift and its interactive games like the world’s only 10 player arcade game, “Killer Queen.”
Our program also focused on a few new special areas including #Tween, The Sidebar: Food on Film, and a celebration of LGBTQ cinema — part of which included me officiating the first legal gay marriage on the stage of the State Theatre with a local couple, Derek and Brandon, on Closing Night! We’ve come a long way in TC since those controversial rainbow bumper stickers, eh?!
We paid tribute to this year’s esteemed award winners, including Visionary winner Robert Altman, Michigan Filmmaker honoree Roger Corman, and Lifetime Achievement award winner Geraldine Chaplin. We also honored this year’s incredible class of films and filmmakers with Founders and Audience Awards, including our Grand Prize for Best Film, which went to the riveting “Listen to Me Marlon,” and the Audience Award for Best Documentary, which went to “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.” You can read the full list of award winners here.
And we couldn’t end our 11th year without a little 11th hour drama, which came in the form of a devastating storm that cancelled Sunday’s Closing Night Bash and our Open Space Screening of “The LEGO Movie.” I’d like to personally thank the amazing volunteers and world-class tech crew who reacted quickly to ensure everyone’s safety and got us back on track to make sure that we didn’t have to cancel any indoor screenings.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of the 3,000 volunteers who donated over 150,000 hours of time — during festival week alone! — to the festival this year. They make this festival possible for everyone, and give it its indelible, unique spirit.
But even though the festival is over, it doesn’t mean the moviegoing has to stop. Join us at the State and Bijou this week to see the funniest and smartest romantic comedy in years, “Trainwreck,” the Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy,” and one of the very hottest tickets at this year’s festival, Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places,” starring Charlize Theron.
And…you can always start planning for next year’s festival, July 26 – 31! (Please note the slightly earlier start date in 2016!)
Most important, please help support what we do here at the film festival by becoming a Friend. You can join for as little as $40. Even if you’re already a volunteer or a sponsor, your Friendship truly makes everything we do possible. If you believe in the Traverse City Film Festival and the good it can do for our area, and for the world of cinema that extends far beyond our borders, please vote with your membership. Just click here to join. (You’ll also get lots of great benefits — Friends get their tickets first!)
Finally, please complete our post-festival survey here. We really listen. Some of our best ideas come from YOU!
See you in 2016!
Even though the festival is over, we are still creating ways for you to relive every great moment of it. Our great videography team edited this amazing closing montage that highlights all the fun that was had this week. Check it out!
The Traverse City Film Festival and 11-year sponsor FIM Group proudly announce the winners of the 2015 Bumper Contest.
In addition to showing the winning entries before films, we also featured a series of “Acceptance” bumpers produced by the festival and made by festival IT Director Lars Kelto in recognition of this year’s focus on LGBTQ cinema.
So in case you didn’t get a chance to catch them all when they played, you can watch them all here.
Bumper Contest Winners
Check out some of the best Instagram photos from the last day of TCFF 2015 — keep sharing your own by using the #tcff hashtag or by tagging tcfilmfest!
Thank you Michael Moore, Traverse City and everyone at the Traverse City Film Festival for an incredible time. #tcff #traversecity #michigan #traversecityfilmfestival #tcfilmfest #tcff4eva #puremichigan #roseanneforpresident
A photo posted by “Roseanne for President!” (@roseanneforpresident) on
I could not be happier for my friends Derek and Brandon who were legally married at the State Theatre closing night of the Traverse City Film Festival by Michael Moore. Wish I could have been there to witness it, but Mother Nature had to be a beast and steal my attention at the opera house. Congrats to you both darlings!!! Heart your faces!! #tcff #traversecityfilmfestival
A photo posted by Meg (@meggethann) on
A photo posted by Celia (@cmulder42) on
A photo posted by Downtown Traverse City (@downtown_tc) on
A photo posted by Anya Bananya (@bananyastand) on
@anderskelto and @bigstrongfast hosting the Q and A session after the 9am showing of #prescriptionthugs AMAZING film delving into the addictive and deadly outcomes of abusing prescription medication. Very heartfelt and honest. The panel moved to the parking lot after this because people couldn’t get enough!! #welldone
A photo posted by Josh Holton (@joshholtoncf) on
A photo posted by michael stewart patrick kent (@allenkentphoto) on
A photo posted by The Wolfpack (@thewolfpackfilm) on
A photo posted by Sarah C. Mulder (@sarah.c.m) on
We had so much fun at the @tcfilmfest Filmmakers Party last night! Got to meet this lovely young lady who has a bright future in filmmaking! #morselstc #baileywebber #baileysirishcream #thestudentbodyfilm #tcff #downtowntc
A photo posted by Morsels Espresso + Edibles (@morselstc) on
A photo posted by Susan Fisher (@susdotcom) on
A photo posted by Abigail Phillips (@abbietc) on
A video posted by Corey Adomaitis (@coreydaane) on
A photo posted by Traverse City Film Festival (@tcfilmfest) on
Check out some of the best Instagram photos from the fourth day of TCFF 2015 — keep sharing your own by using the #tcff hashtag or by tagging tcfilmfest!
The Benson Interruption #tcff @tcfilmfest @youdontknowdoug A photo posted by Folgarelli’s Market (@folgarellis) on
Lake Michigan today. 🌊🌞⛵ #TraverseCity #PureMichigan #UpState #LakeMichigan #TCFF A photo posted by @aidanashleen25 on
A photo posted by Century 21 Northland (@c21northland) on
A photo posted by The Wolfpack (@thewolfpackfilm) on
Getting started on movie #13. #traversecityfilmfestival #tcff #TraverseCity #puremichigan A photo posted by Justin Hankins (@hankins) on
The great Michael Moore introducing the excellent documentary T-Rex, which is about a 17-year old female boxer from Flint, MI. The Q & A afterward with Claressa and the filmmakers was lots of fun to hear too. #michaelmoore #tcff #trex #flint @resza1 #claressashields #documentary #boxer
A photo posted by Kyle (@beardedk) on
How could I not? #Lani loves it #DogBakery #traversecity A photo posted by Levei Lulabelle (@loveayye) on
These past few days have been spent at the Traverse City Film Festival. A crew and I have been following filmmakers Jeremy Royce and Jerry White Jr. as they bring their film, “20 years of madness” to #tcff Using the @djiglobal #ronin with a @canonusa #t3i and @arri lighting
A photo posted by Santiago Benito (@saben_productions) on
Awesome kitty mask at #tcff #kidsfest A photo posted by @whimsypix on
A photo posted by Koz (@m1ghtycra5h) on
A photo posted by Pamela Bevelhymer (@pamelabevelhymer) on
#killerqueen #killerqueengame #10playerarcadegame #thisgameisgreat #Imissitalready #thewozatthebuzz #thebuzz #TCFF #thewoz A photo posted by Natalie Walker (@scaredy_nat) on
Michael Moore and our Board of Directors presented an array of awards to this year’s amazingly talent class of TCFF filmmakers and guests. Read the list of all of our Founders Award and Audience Award winners.
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS
Audience Award Winner for Best Kids Short: “The Present“
Audience Award Winner for Best Narrative Short: “Birthday“
Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary Short: “Naneek“
Audience Award Winner for Best Kids Film: “Fiddlesticks“
Audience Award Runner Up for Best Foreign Film: “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared“
Audience Award Winner for Best Foreign Film: “Tangerines“
Audience Award Runner Up for Best American Film: “Learning to Drive“
Audience Award Winner for Best American Film: “Kill the Messenger“
Audience Award Runner Up for Best Documentary Film: “The Hunting Ground“
Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary Film: “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story“
SHORT FILM WINNERS
Founders Prize Special Mention Short Film: “Let Your Light Shine“
Founders Prize for Best Narrative Short: “Discipline“
Founders Prize for Best Documentary Short: “My Enemy, My Brother“
Lifetime Achievement Award: Geraldine Chaplin
Visionary Award: Robert Altman
Michigan Filmmaker Award: Roger Corman
Discovery Award: Kaouther Ben Hania, “Challat of Tunis“
Changemaker Award: Ross Caputi, “Fear Not the Path of Truth“
Stuart J. Hollander Prize for Best Kids Film: “Fiddlesticks“
Buzz Wilson Prize for Best Avant-Garde Film: “Journey to the West“
Founders Prize Special Award: “7 Chinese Brothers“
Founders Prize Special Award: “The Trials of Spring“
Founders Prize Special Award: “The Wolfpack“
Founders Prize Special Award: “Roseanne for President!“
Founders Prize Special Award: “The Armor of Light“
Founders Prize Special Award: “Wild Tales“
Founders Prize Special Award: “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem“
Founders Prize Special Award: “The Last Five Years“
Roger Ebert Prize for Best Film by a First Time Filmmaker: “T-Rex“
Stanley Kubrick Award for Bold and Innovative Filmmaking: “Tangerine“
Founders Prize for Best Documentary: “The Wanted 18“
Founders Prize for Best Comedy: “Finders Keepers“
Founders Prize for Best Drama: “Two Days, One Night“
Founders Prize for Best Film: “Listen to Me Marlon“
TCFF DOWNTOWN WINDOW DECORATION CONTEST
FIM GROUP BUMPER CONTEST
SHORT AND TALL
THE KID AND HIS CITY