TCFF XII Instagram Roundup 7/28

Lots of things to do at the festival this week from Open Space, special screenings, kids fest, the marquees, and the beautiful sunsets! Hashtag your instagram pics of the festival with #tcff to share some of your festivities with us!

#tcff #tc #downtown #thestatetheater #home

A photo posted by Debbie Lopez (@deblopez0502) on

#filmmaker #boatcruise #lakemichigan #tcff ????

A photo posted by Simone Wendel (@diefrauwendel) on

Movies are better on the bay. #TCFF #TCMI #puremichigan #bigscreen

A photo posted by Nick Hawkins (@pthawk14) on

Great time with awesome gals ???? . . . #tcff #puremichigan #traversecity #filmfestival

A photo posted by Bethany Phillips (@northerngirltc) on

Stormy night. A film in black and white. A ukulele feels so right. #TCFF #tcukeguy #ukuleke #love

A video posted by Maria Kinney (@mariatherese) on

Beautiful night at the fest #tcff #traversecity #puremichigan

A photo posted by Sara Miller (@sjmiller28) on

TCFF XII Instagram Roundup 7/27

Check out our favorite instagram pics from TCFF day 2! Keep snapping pics and use our hashtag #tcff and one of yours could be here too!

Party on Kev, party on Ash! #tcff #neverstopmakingpopcorn

A photo posted by ashattack03 (@ashattack03) on

Movie by the bay. #tcmi #tcff #tcfuntime

A photo posted by Sarah Elms (@sarahelms) on

#letthefilmsbegin #tcff #popcorn

A photo posted by Sue (@sueatcottage) on

Hear us giggle along with Amy Smart on the next Doug Loves Movies Podcast. #tcff #tcff2016

A photo posted by Stephanie Mathewson (@small_phanie) on

#tcff #film #traversecitymichigan #interview

A photo posted by Bøbby Blãïsdèll (@blaisdell59) on

TCFF XII Dailies

Our Saturday Daily features Linda Price (TCFF Operations Manager for our first 11 years), “Small Talk” director Hilary Fitzgerald, filmmaker and TCFF moderator Rebecca Reynolds, “Equal Means Equal” director Kamala Lopez, and IndieWire’s Anne Thompson discussing the unique challenges female filmmakers face.

View yesterday’s historic panel at:

Our Friday Daily features the 100th Birthday of The State Theatre and information about balloting for the TCFF Audience Awards.

Speaking of Awards, tune in Live on Facebook tomorrow (Sat, July 30) at 9:30 PM for our broadcast of the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival awards ceremony from the Filmmakers Party.

Today’s TCFF Daily features some free & fun things to do at the Traverse City Film Festival including Kid’s Fest, The Woz, great music, and the nightly movies at the Open Space.

Our first TCFF Daily of 2016 features longtime festival volunteer Alan Collard and the story behind the new TCFF Walk of Fame and tips from TCFF intern Kendall Kotcher on getting tickets to movies including the new Traverse City Film Festival Ticket Swap Group and the mechanics of ticket vouchers and the standby line. There’s even an appearance by Michigan State University mascot Sparty!!

Speaking of Sparty, be sure to tune in today at 6 PM when TCFF goes LIVE on Facebook from the free party at the Woz – a VR playground that’s a partnership between MSU & TCFF.

2016 TCFF Dailies Team
Isabella Babieri
Bobby Blaisdell
Morgan Burke-Beyers
Duke Garlin
Lane Lubell
Andrew McFarlane
Kenyon McFarlane
Brody Steele
Charlie VanderKlipp
Olivia White

Less Than 24 Hours to Go – 24 Facts You Need to Know!

TCFF 2016 is less than 24 hours away! Here are 24 things you should know before heading into this year’s festival.

  1. Norte! Bike Valet – Brand new for 2016, please take advantage of our bike-friendly city with the FREE bike valet, courtesy of Norte! Bike valet parking, running throughout the festival, is available in Clinch Park next to the Bijou by the Bay.
  2. Festival Loop – Park all day and night with no cost, because the festival offers a FREE shuttle service to all filmgoers. The loop stops at each movie theater, the free festival parking lots as well as downtown parking decks.
  3. Day 3 TCFF 2015New Media at The Woz – Experience the future of storytelling at the hands-on interactive gallery The Woz, at a new location this year at the Hotel Indigo. We’ve partnered with Michigan State University to bring you transmedia projects that go beyond traditional screens. Check it out for FREE! 
  4. Walk of Fame – You don’t have to go all the way to Hollywood to see the handprints of the stars. Check out our Walk of Fame, which we have in Downtown Traverse City! Head outside the State Theatre to walk in the footsteps of the celebrities that have come across that berth.
  5. Pokemon GO to the movies – For all of the Pokemon trainers out there – you know who you are – we have the perfect spots to help you catch ‘em all. With 14 poke stops and 11 gyms, check out our guide here
  6. 28211740460_b9478110dd_oStandby Line/Vouchers – Nothing is ever sold out at TCFF! A standby ticket line forms one hour before each show, for the opportunity to purchase tickets to the screening. Patrons with vouchers can go to the front of the standby line, and anyone can purchase them – they don’t expire until the end of next year!
  7.  Cinema(n) – Did you know that only a small fraction of Hollywood movies are made by women? This year, ALL of our Official Selections (US) for fiction and documentary are directed or – co-directed by women. Pretty cool, right?
  8. Centerpiece Screening – Tickets are still available to “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru.” Watch a movie from acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (“Paradise Lost” trilogy) that explores the man behind the myth of Tony Robbins, famous self-help infomercial personality. And meet the director, as well as Tony Robbins, at the Friday screening!
  9. Michigan Made – Take a journey through recent history and explore Judge Keith in “Walk with Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith” From his start as a Detroit-born janitor to his role as the Honorable Judge Keith, this legend has lived a tumultuous and important 94 years through the civil rights movement and beyond.
  10. Animal Lovers – No animal lover should miss “The Champions,” the little-known story of what happened to the dogs in NFL-star Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, and the effect that kind-hearted humans can have on a pup that is looking for a second chance. We’ll have the director of the film in person, as well as a very special subject — rescue dog Cherry!
  11. Become a Friend — Becoming a Friend of the Film Festival offers you some fantastic perks. Early access to tickets special screenings, and more! Become a Friend for 2017 before Sunday, July 31 and be entered to win a pass to next year’s fest!
  12. Photo by Alexa HughesKid’s Fest – Going to the movies can be a family affair! Check out our Kid’s Fest at Lars Hockstad Auditorium where kids movies are only $1! And don’t forget to head to the FREE Lawn Party after the screening!
  13. The Doug Benson Movie Interruptions – Who says that you can’t talk at the movies? Doug Benson’s Movie Interruptions will have you laughing until you cry as he gives his two cents on “Kisses for My President” and “Bloodsport.”
  14. Read the TCFF Blog – Don’t forget to check out TCFF’s daily news for the lowdown on what’s going on around the festival. Read interviews with filmmakers, breaking events, and so much more!
  15. Volunteer! – We LOVE our volunteers, so hang out with the best at our venues or parties! You’ll get an awesome tshirt, the chance to help out one of the coolest film festivals around, and if you volunteer late night, you get vouchers for swag. How can you beat that? 
  16. The Sidebar: Food on Film – Watch a mouthwatering documentary, sample a bite inspired by the film, and hear from top chef’s — including the legendary Jeremiah Tower of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Maginficent.” Seriously, where can I sign up?
  17. Parties – Parties galore, there are so many to check out it’ll make your head spin! Check out the Opening Night party on Tuesday, The Woz party on Wednesday (FREE!), Filmmaker Party on Saturday, and the Closing Night Bash on Sunday (FREE!). 
  18. Centennial – It’s the celebration of the State Theatre’s 100th birthday! We’ve decided to pair one of the greatest movie theaters in all the land with a special screening of one of the greatest movies of all time, “Citizen Kane,” — with Orson Welles’ own daughter, Beatrice Welles in person.
  19. 27884622404_cccbc9f5b5_zOpen Space – No tickets needed. 65′ screen on the Grand Traverse Bay near Clinch Park. “Pitch Perfect.” “Wayne’s World.” “Adam’s Rib.” “Shrek.” “Jurassic World.” “Frozen.” FREE. Need we say more? How about that all the Open Space films this year were directed and/or written by women! 
  20. Panels – Check out the FREE panels TCFF has to offer. From The Comedy Panel to Film Under Trump, there’s something for everyone!
  21. 28398751081_530b59bf95_oFilm School – We have a great lineup of film experts teaching classes for filmgoers of all ages to experience at the festival! Test your acting chops in class, learn how to pitch a movie idea that’s been on your mind, or hear about music in film at our Film School this year.
  22. TCFF Music – Come out and enjoy some pre-show music before film screenings, courtesy of our talented group of volunteer musicians who have vowed to entertain our audiences!
  23. Cinema Salon – Watching a movie is great, but talking to audience members about your shared experience is even better! Chat with folks after the show to share your takeaway about the film.
  24. WE COULD NOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU – We say it a lot, you hear it a lot, and it’s the truth! Without our dedicated volunteers, our generous sponsors, and an audience as curious and passionate as we are about film, this festival would not exist. So thank you, thank you, and thank you again. Please enjoy the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival!

Traverse City’s Own Walk of Fame!

27884603034_b8b3052e19_zYou won’t have to travel all the way to Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame, because now Northern Michigan has its very own! Just in time for the 12th annual Traverse City Film Festival, stroll on over to the State Theatre and marvel at some of the famous directors, filmmakers, musicians, comedians, and actors who have attended the Traverse City Film Festival and Comedy Festival over the years and, quite literally, left their mark in cement.

Check out celebrity luminaries from Michael Moore to Madonna. We’ve even provided a handy cheat sheet to help you ID all the handprints!

Walk of Fame_final

A Letter to Orson

Board Member and unrivaled cinephile Mark Cousins shares this personal letter to Orson Welles. Celebrate Orson Welles and the State Centennial with us at our screening of “Citizen Kane” featuring Orson Welles’ daughter Beatrice Welles on Wednesday, July 27 at 3 pm. 

The Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was named the most beautiful place in American by ABC News. (John L. Russell/Special to the Detroit News)Dear Orson Welles,

Can we go around the world together? You’re dead, of course, but that doesn’t stop me imagining us as a gruesome twosome, on the road. Maybe you will accept my offer because you were a mendicant friar. When Hollywood didn’t know what to do with you, you set off and out to Spain and France, Yugoslavia and Morocco, to ply your trade, to set up your baroque stall in souks and courts and on stages, between rages.
From where I’m sitting – about which, more in a moment – it looks like you couldn’t stop making films, Orson, from Citizen Kane onwards. You had a will to cinema, a longing for it, or maybe not quite a longing because that implies that it was outside you, far away, something to be reached for when, in fact, it’s better to say that it was inside you. You embodied movies. It’s hard to write to you and not use the word embody, Orson. Your body was like an echo-chamber, like the belly of Ahab’s whale; it produced that voice of yours that rumbled, and all those kings you played.

Orson-Welles-1945So can we go on this travelogue, Orson? We could see it, also, as an epilogue. An epilogue to your life, which was so baroque that it is begging for one. I wish this letter could be a dialogue, Orson. For me it is a kind of dialogue. Shall we make it a decalogue? Shall we visit ten places around the world, with cinema on our mind the way Diego Rivera had Frida on his mind, in that great picture he did of himself? To mention Frida and Diego is to think of Mexico, of course. Can we travel the world together without going to Mexico? Without thinking of Sergei Eisenstein’s time there? Without nodding our caps now to the fact that part of the reason for travelling, the compulsion to travel, the propulsion of travel, is what Eisenstein called “exstasis”: the desire to get out of yourself, the rapture of self-loss, the hope that, if we are fleet of foot, we might be able to outwit ourselves, leave them behind, reverse the polarity of self and other?

Indulge me, Orson. Let’s strike out together on this travelogue, epilogue, dialogue, Decalogue. Let’s travel the world and, as we do, ask a simple question. What are the movies? Years ago, when I was in my twenties (and as close to handsome as I was ever going to get), I went to Naples to film a grand lady in her 60s, Flora Pinto d’Albavilla mariata Capaldo. As her name suggests, she was from aristocratic stock. Just as the years of Garibaldi were long gone, so was her money but, somehow, she managed to ignore this fact and live in a small apartment gussied up with chandeliers and French furniture. One evening, after filming, she told me that she’d like to take me to “la plus belle balcon du monde.” We drove for an hour in her fancy car, arrived in Ravello, from where she took me to a balcony overlooking the bay of Naples, the Costa Amalfitana. The moon was full and twinned with its reflection in the sea. As we stood on the balcony, Flora told me that Greta Garbo took Leopold Stokowski there. It was indeed, for me, a working class Belfast boy, the most beautiful balcony in the world. As we stood there, so said to me: “Travel the world with me. I have not long to go, but we could visit the great art galleries together. I would pay for everything. All I’d ask for in return is your company and, occasionally, for you to wear swimming trunks”. Did Tennessee Williams write her lines that night? Did he write this scene, Orson? Did you? I mention it here, of course, because her invitation – “travel the world with me” – seemed to me then, and still does, one of the most risky and beautiful things that one person can say to another. And so I say it to you, Orson.


Can we start our journey here, where I am now? I’m in Cannes, France. I’m sitting in a cheap restaurant called La Frigate. It’s lunchtime. The sky is grey – the Magritte colours are only here in the sunshine, as you well know – and, just to further dispel the glamour, I can tell you that I smell of sweat (I’ve been schlepping around town today) and vin blanc provencal. I’m away from the numbers, as someone called Paul Weller once wrote, beyond the Cannes film festival bubble; it’s where I want to be. There’s a quietude in this small restaurant. Nobody’s talking about the film business.

I don’t need to describe Cannes to you, of course, because you were here often. In 1948, you lived in the exclusive Eden Roc hotel at the Cap d’Antibes, near hear, didn’t you? And in that year Rita Hayworth visited you at the Cap, to try to reconcile your relationship. Two years later, you took a taxi from Italy to the hotel, at a cost of $500, to try to convince producer Darryl Zanuck to fund your film of Shakespeare’s Othello. You dropped to your knees and begged him. The place went silent. Perhaps to bring the moment to an end, and out of embarrassment, he offered you $100,000 to play a part in Prince of Foxes. You accepted. The money helped fund your film. You charged him for the taxi. Two years later, in 1952, Othello won the Palme d’or here. And, then, in 1966, you were given a prize here for your contribution to world cinema. Jean Cocteau’s lover Jean Marais made the announcement. Raquel Welsh, whose beauty then brought tears to our eyes, took you to the stage. Behind you stood Mademoiselle Presidente du Jury, Sophia Loren, who was from Naples and who, therefore, had probably stood on la plus belle balcon du monde. So I don’t need to tell you about this place. Unlike me, you’ve seen its inner sanctum, its upper echelons, its holiest of holies, its tracking shots, its foleys.

But what does Cannes tell us about the movies, Orson? As I sit in this restaurant, ten metres from the sea, with scooters buzzing by like wasps, I notice what I’ve always noticed about this place. There’s no smell of the sea. I’ve heard, several times – can this be true? – that before the Cannes film festival starts, they comb the sea to remove the seaweed. If they do do this, why? To make the water look cleaner, clearer? Seaweed gives the sea its smell so, removing it, makes the water more like an ideal but, also, more distant, because it isn’t confirmed by smell. Is it the wine that makes me see, in this, a metaphor for the movies? What we see in a film is there and not there, isn’t it Orson? Just like you’re here and not here now. Movies are over-available to some senses and completely unavailable to others. Read more

Piper’s Picks!

Piper-101-2Woof—Piper, K-9 Wildlife Control team member, is quite the movie lover and has some great insight into this year’s festival of Just Great Treats (or as we humans like to call them, Movies)! So if you’re not quite sure of what to see, or looking to add another film to your schedule, here are some Piper-inspired picks that guarantee you’ll have a doggone good time at this year’s fest.







The Champions
State Theatre | Sat, Jul 30 3 pm
Lars Hockstad Auditorium | Sun, Jul 31 9 amChampions

This heartfelt documentary tells the story of the human heroes that stepped up to help “deadly” pit bull friends who were abused in NFL-star Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring. The second chance they were given at life proves that you sure can teach an old dog new tricks. Meet the film’s director, Darcy Dennett along with the Fiaccone family — including rescue dog Cherry!



Lars Hockstad Auditorium Sat, Jul 30 9:30 am

The adorable sheepdog Oddball can’t seem to do anything right. He’s always causing trouble when he’s supposed to be protecting the farmer’s land. But when the town’s penguin sanctuary threatens to close, Oddball steps up to be the hero nobody expected. Fun for the whole family and only $1, you won’t want to miss this true story!

Unlocking the Cage
City Opera House | Sat, Jul 30 9 pmunlocking_the_cage_3
Sun, Jul 31 3pm

Piper’s got a job, now how about getting Piper some basic rights? “Unlocking the Cage” explores how humans treat animals and what could happen if we gave intelligent animals human rights. The directors, legends of the documentary world Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, will be there in person to discuss!


Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith
Milliken at the Dennos Museum | Sat, Jul 30 3 pmWalk With Me
Lars Hockstad Auditorium | Sun, Jul 31 3:30 pm

Piper loves walks and Damon J. Keith has has been on one long civil rights journey. Meet Judge Keith, and learn the story of how in his 94 years he has gone from a Detroit-born janitor to a preeminent Federal Judge.



Make a point to see these inspiring picks and fetch ya later!



TCFF Welcomes Indiewire’s Anne Thompson!

Who better to lead a panel of strong, talented women than a strong, talented woman! Indiewire journalist Anne Thompson will be joining the TCFF team and moderating our Friday panel “Who Let the Women In?” where women filmmakers will discuss the struggles and triumphs of creating movies. Click here to read Anne’s article about TCFF 12 and the role women will play in this year’s festival.



Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Calling all Pokemon trainers, the Traverse City Film Festival is the perfect chance for you to catch ‘em all. We have 14 poke stops and 11 gyms for you to become the very best. Here’s a list of all the venues and their closest poke stops and gyms!


Catch a pokémon by one of the venues and hashtag #tcffgo!

The Sidebar: Food on Film is Back – with Great Guests!

Last year’s TCFF series The Sidebar: Food on Film was a resounding success, and we’re bringing back this tasty program for film fans and foodies to enjoy alike. Food on Film presents screenings of mouthwatering documentaries that encourage you to munch on more than the movie popcorn. Stay after the films to listen in on candid conversations between stars of the Michigan food scene, and enjoy delectable bites prepared by the chefs and inspired by the films.

With a fantastic lineup of chefs, including talent from excellent Michigan establishments like Trattoria Stella, Selden Standard, Alliance, and The Cooks’ House, the conversations are not to be missed. As a fantastic last-minute addition, the legendary subject of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” Jeremiah Tower himself, will be here in person.

This year’s Food on Film offerings are:

toweweb“Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent”Fri 3 pm City Opera House

The influence of Jeremiah Tower in the culinary world can’t be overstated. One of the earliest to gain the status of “celebrity chef,” the internationally-renowned Chef Tower opened his first restaurant in 1984, the world-famous Stars, and most recently led the kitchen at New York City’s Tavern on the Green. In this documentary, everyone’s favorite culinary commentator Anthony Bourdain examines the peaks and valleys of Chef Tower’s career and seeks to restore his reputation as a king of the cooking scene.


Chef Jeremiah Tower
Director Lydia Tenaglia

“Cooking Up a Tribute”Sat 6 pm City Opera House

If you’ve recently out-staged one of the most famous restaurants off all time to be placed on the top of the list of Restaurant magazine’s “Best Restaurant in the World,” the last thing you would think of doing would be to close up your business for five weeks and take your show on the road, worldwide. But after watching the incredible story of Spanish Eatery El Celler de Can Roca and the three Roca brothers who run it, this great documentary might make you want to reconsider.


Simon JosephwebPete Petersonweb
Myles Anton, Trattoria StellaSimon Joseph, Harvest/GaijinPete Peterson, Tapawingo/Alliance

“Noma: My Perfect Storm”Sun 6 pm City Opera House

Trust us when we say this tasty and thought-provoking film is one you won’t want to watch on an empty stomach. After winning the title of “Best Restaurant in the World” three years in a row, this follows the story of famed Copenhagen restaurant Noma’s star chef Rene Redzepi’s journey as he attempts to reclaim the throne. Filled with imagery of what can only be defined as edible art, this drool-worthy documentary is a can’t-miss.


James BloomfieldwebAndy HollydaywebEric Pattersonweb
James Bloomfield, AllianceAndy Hollyday, Selden StandardEric Patterson, The Cooks' House

For the first year, we’re also worked with Taste the Local Difference and Cherry Capital Foods to become a certified local food event! All those tasty bites you’ll enjoy following the film will be sourced locally! Learn more about this here.