Sold Out Screening? Here’s Your Second Chance

A few of our movies sold out quickly this past weekend during Friends Ticketing. But fear not! Most of those movies have a second screening with tickets still available. Plus, we just added extra screenings of the festival’s hottest sellers. Everyone can get their tickets to these, and all our other great films starting at 10 am tomorrow at the box office and at 6 pm online! Check the list out below.

Who are the Directors?

Have you tried naming all the Best Picture directors on our poster yet? Check here for the answers to the men that are stumping you! Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy, many directors are on here more than once! Click the poster image to view a high-res version.

  1. D.W. Griffith (“The Birth of a Nation”)
  2. D.W. Griffith (“Intolerance”)
  3. Maurice Tourneur (“The Poor Little Rich Girl”)
  4. Marshall Neilan (“Stella Maris”)
  5. Erich Von Stroheim (“Blind Husbands”)
  6. Frank Borzage (“Humoresque”)
  7. Charles Chaplin (“The Kid”)
  8. Allan Dwan (“Robin Hood”)
  9. James Cruze (“The Covered Wagon”)
  10. Raoul Walsh (“The Thief of Baghdad”)
  11. King Vidor (“The Big Parade”)
  12. Herbert Brenon (“Beau Geste”)
  13. William A. Wellman (“Wings”)
  14. Harry Beaumont (“The Broadway Melody”)
  15. Lewis Milestone (“All Quiet on the Western Front”)
  16. Wesley Ruggles (“Cimarron”)
  17. Edmund Goulding (“Grand Hotel”)
  18. Frank Lloyd (“Cavalcade”)
  19. Frank Capra (“It Happened One Night”)
  20. Frank Lloyd (“Mutiny on the Bounty”)
  21. Robert Z. Leonard (“The Great Ziegfeld”)
  22. William Dieterle (“The Life of Emile Zola”)
  23. Frank Capra (“You Can’t Take It With You”)
  24. Victor Fleming (“Gone With The Wind”)
  25. Alfred Hitchcock (“Rebecca”)
  26. John Ford (“How Green Was My Valley”)
  27. William Wyler (“Mrs. Miniver”)
  28. Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca”)
  29. Leo McCarey (“Going My Way”)
  30. Billy Wilder (“The Lost Weekend”)
  31. William Wyler (“The Best Years of Our Lives”)
  32. Elia Kazan (“Gentleman’s Agreement”)
  33. Laurence Olivier (“Hamlet”)
  34. Robert Rossen (“All the King’s Men”)
  35. Joseph L. Mankiewicz (“All About Eve”)
  36. Vincente Minnelli (“An American In Paris”)
  37. Cecil B. DeMille (“The Greatest Show on Earth”)
  38. Fred Zinnemann (“From Here to Eternity”)
  39. Elia Kazan (“On The Waterfront”)
  40. Delbert Mann (“Marty”)
  41. Michael Anderson (“Around the World in 80 Days”)
  42. David Lean (“The Bridge On The River Kwai”)
  43. Vincente Minnelli (“Gigi”)
  44. William Wyler (“Ben-Hur”)
  45. Billy Wilder (“The Apartment”)
  46. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins (“West Side Story”)
  47. David Lean (“Lawrence of Arabia”)
  48. Tony Richardson (“Tom Jones”)
  49. George Cukor (“My Fairy Lady”)
  50. Robert Wise (“The Sound of Music”)
  51. Fred Zinnemann (“A Man for All Seasons”)
  52. Norman Jewison (“In the Head of the Night”)
  53. Carol Reed (“Oliver!”)
  54. John Schlesinger (“Midnight Cowboy”)
  55. Franklin J. Schaffner (“Patton”)
  56. William Friedkin (“The French Connection”)
  57. Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”)
  58. George Roy Hill (“The Sting”)
  59. Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather Part II”)
  60. Milos Forman (“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”)
  61. John G. Avildsen (“Rocky”)
  62. Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”)
  63. Michael Cimino (“The Deer Hunter”)
  64. Robert Benton (“Kramer vs. Kramer”)
  65. Robert Redford (“Ordinary People”)
  66. Hugh Hudson (“Chariots of Fire”)
  67. Richard Attenborough (“Gandhi”)
  68. James L. Brooks (“Terms of Endearment”)
  69. Milos Forman (“Amadeus”)
  70. Sydney Pollack (“Out of Africa”)
  71. Oliver Stone (“Platoon”)
  72. Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Last Emperor”)
  73. Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”)
  74. Bruce Beresford (“Driving Miss Daisy”)
  75. Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves”)
  76. Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”)
  77. Clint Eastwood (“Unforgiven”)
  78. Steven Spielberg (“Schindler’s List”)
  79. Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”)
  80. Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”)
  81. Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient”)
  82. James Cameron (“Titanic”)
  83. John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”)
  84. Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”)
  85. Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”)
  86. Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”)
  87. Rob Marshall (“Chicago”)
  88. Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”)
  89. Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby”)
  90. Paul Haggis (“Crash”)
  91. Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”)
  92. Joel and Ethan Coen (“No Country for Old Men”)
  93. Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionare”)
  94. Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”)
  95. Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”)
  96. Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”)
  97. Ben Affleck (“Argo”)
  98. Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”)
  99. Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”)
  100. Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)

Amy Smart Talks TCFF 2016’s “Sister Cities,” Film to Television and Back, and Loving Life in Northern Michigan

The Traverse City Film Festival is thrilled to be hosting the World Premiere of “Sister Cities,” a tale of four disparate siblings reunited by the surprising death of their eccentric mother, Mary. A gripping film with an all-star cast, the audience follows the sisters as they work together to discover Mary’s the meaning behind Mary’s final moments.

amy-smartWe were able to chat with the prolific “Sister Cities” star Amy Smart. You might recognize her from roles in films like “Varsity Blues,” “Outside Providence,” and “Just Friends;” and guest appearanceson the television shows “Felicity,” “Scrubs,” “Robot Chicken,” “Justified,” and “Shameless.”

Amy divides her time working in Los Angeles and living here in Traverse City, where she spends time at the gorgeous Bonobo Winery on the Old Mission Peninsula.

 You can catch “Sister Cities” on Friday July 29, at 6 pm at Lars Hockstad Auditorium. 

Playing the young version of Mary in flashback sequences, you have quite a unique part in the film in that you’re the only one who shares no screen time with any of the sisters in the present. Was this role challenging, knowing that you were responsible for weaving together the emotional pieces that resonate with the present-day Mary and her daughters?

Flashbacks can be tricky because you immediately are taken out of the reality of the situation and made to extend your belief that I was Jacki Weaver but younger. The Mary character in her younger years was very vicious, flirtatious and moved on a whim to follow each new lover in her life. I felt like there was enough time between our versions that you could believe she was this way younger, but I did talk with Jacki and watched some scenes she had already shot to get the most accurate accent and inflections.  

You and Academy Award-nominee Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Animal Kingdom”) play Mary at very different times in her life. How closely did the two of you work together to develop the character?

Jacki was so down to earth and personable and I was incredibly excited to work on this character with her. She started filming before I did, so I let her take the lead as far as who Mary was and then I also added more to her for her younger years. She was a professional dancer and really knew how to use her body to express herself. 

What was it that initially drew you to this project, and how did you become involved?

I read the script and really loved the story of these sisters coming together over the tragedy of their mother. I also liked the controversial issue they are dealing with and getting a firsthand insight into the debilitating disease of ALS. 

SmartWhereToInvade“Sister Cities” is a film that oscillates tonally – at times warm, funny, heartbreaking, and even eerie. How much of that came across to you when you first read the script, versus what the audience sees in the finished movie? Did knowing at which points in the film your flashback scenes are placed impact your performance?

Reading the script, I felt the shift back and forth between the heavy subject matter and the humor of each sister playing off their personalities. I was so impressed with all the actors who played the sisters because it definitely felt stronger and deeper than I remember reading. The flashback scenes were meant to really uplift and bring more levity to this film when there was drama and heavy-heartedness. I really loved working with Sean [Hanish, director] because he directed me in bringing Mary to life with much viciousness and a feeling of being carefree. Read more

Bike, Stroll, and Caffeinate

This year we have partnered with Norte & Higher Grounds to bring the bike valet to the festival! Beat all of the traffic, bike and stroll to nearby venues, and even receive a coupon to Higher Grounds. Watch the video to learn a little more about Norte & Higher Grounds and how they’re contributing to the festival:

Dates/Times: July 27-31. Opens daily at 8 am. Closes at 11 pm. 

Location: Outside the Bijou.

How It Works:

1. Ride your bike down to the Bijou by the Bay

2. Give us your bike and we’ll give you one of our snazzy Pokemon turned valet stub. Put the Pokemon in your pocket. Don’t lose it.

3. Walk to your film venue. We’ll watch your bike. So have fun. Don’t worry.

4. Return to the valet. Give us your Pokemon. Get your bike back. Pedal on to your next adventure and give yourself a pat on the back for going by bike and making the TCFF a little bit more awesome.

#BikeTCFF #BikeandStroll

Mike’s Secret Gems


As this year’s Traverse City Film Festival draws closer with each passing day, it is my wish to highlight some of the most exquisite, artistic, hidden gems that will grace our venues’ screens. Just Great Movies come in all shapes and sizes and some of the best ones get overlooked sometimes. Each year, I send you all a note to make sure you don’t pass over certain films I’m extremely high on— films you may not have thought about or heard of, but ones I don’t want you to miss.

So here’s my first list of hidden gems you shouldn’t overlook:


brand_new_testament_1The Brand New Testament“: We all know about the Son of God. But I’ll bet you never heard of the Daughter of God. She’s a 10- year-old girl who lives in Brussels. A stinging satire on religion, patriarchy, and the world in which we live, this is the kind of film people used to picket. Ah, I miss the good old days. See this movie!


by_sidney_lumet_1By Sidney Lumet”: The best masterclass of cinema you’ll ever see in a movie, straight from the master himself, shortly before his death. He made “Network,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico.” ‘Nuff said.  


c_word_1The C Word”: My producing partner in crime (and fellow Oscar nominee who made “Sicko” with me) has made the film on cancer that I’ve been hoping someone would make. This is it. Don’t miss it.


cameraperson_1Cameraperson”: Kirsten Johnson, who helped me shoot “Fahrenheit 9/11,” is considered one of the top DPs in the doc world. This is a fascinating look at her work and what it takes to make nonfiction films — a beautifully filmed essay I want you all to see. Plus, I’m in it. So you know it rocks! Hahaha.


censored_voices_1Censored Voices”: Get ready for your jaw to drop to the floor as you hear, for the first time, directly from Israeli soldiers about what they did to innocent Palestinians during the Six-Day War. A monumental piece of journalism and history, thanks in large part to Israeli author Amos Oz.


confusion_1Confusion”: Oh, I don’t want to give too much away about this one. Let’s just say it is high time someone made this movie about a Guantanamo detainee and the do-gooders who want to help him– until it becomes too much bother.


Disturbing1Disturbing the Peace”: The second of four Israeli films at this year’s festival, this one is about the efforts to bring together ex-Israeli soldiers with the Palestinians they used to round up, imprison, and restrict their freedoms. Joining us in TC will be the filmmaker and two of the film’s subjects — a profound moment for us to witness.  

houston_we_have_a_problem_newHouston, We Have a Problem!”: Here’s a movie that wants to seriously mess with you! Hahaha. Just say to your friend/spouse/neighbor — “Hey, at least once during this festival we should get effed with! Let’s go see this movie!”

i_am_belfast_1I Am Belfast”: Made by a TCFF board member and filmmaker extraordinaire Mark Cousins, this is one of the most beautiful and moving films I have seen in years. A poetic masterpiece, a cinematic essay of a town that has been bruised and beaten, this movie is filled with hope when it seems there should be none. Don’t miss this uplifting, mesmerizing piece of Irish cinema.


Kings of Kallstadt”: Possibly the funniest film in the festival, this is the true story of the German town that produced the Tump family. Everyone in the village today has something to say about The Donald. And then they decide to fly to New York to see if they can meet him. Couldn’t be more timely — and wait for the moment when, on camera, Trump learns that his grandfather was a deportee.


Kisses for My President”: Oh, please don’t miss this. Yes, it’s at midnight, but that’s only because it’s the Reefer Madness entry this year! This 1964 relic explores what would happen — OMG! — if a woman were elected president! Think of how hard that would be on her husband! Comedian Doug Benson, myself, and others are going to Mystery Schience Theater 3000 this baby live. Do NOT miss the most important laugh riot of this election year! You will say “I WAS THERE!”

Read more

TCFF 2016 Centerpiece Screening Announced

THIS JUST IN — big news for the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival’s first day of ticketing:
Our Centerpiece Film this year on Friday night of the fest is the amazing new documentary by Oscar nominee Joe Berlinger (“Paradise Lost” Trilogy) entitled “Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru.” Joe will be with us in person, and to top it off…
Tony Robbins is coming to Traverse City! Live! In Person! With the movie!
LOWRESRobbins is an American superstar, counselor to world leaders, pundits, and celebrities. Now Joe Berlinger has made a film that takes us behind the scenes of Robbins’ mammoth seminar he calls “Date with Destiny.” 
There are 2,500 people in the room, and your eyes will be so glued to the screen, you will never think of the words “self-help” in the same way again.
Anticipating a large turnout, for the first time ever, we are going to hold two back-to-back Centerpiece screenings on the same night, July 29 — with Robbins appearing at both screenings.
This is a film that will shake you up, and you won’t even see it coming. It’s an unapologetic look at someone who seems to be a lot of people’s “self-help guru,” but is perhaps the kind of person we all need right now. It’s powerful — and not at all what you’d expect.
You can see me, Tony, Joe, AND this great film at two powerhouse screenings of this emotional concert of a film: 6 pm at the State Theatre, and 9 pm at Lars Hockstad. Check your cynicism at the door! Tickets are $25 and are available to Friends of the Film Festival today beginning at 6 pm online at
Please note: To accommodate these screenings, “My Blind Brother” at Lars at 9 pm on Friday has been moved to Friday, July 29 at 6 pm at the Old Town Playhouse. 
See you at the revival! 🙂
Michael Moore

Friends Ticketing Day is Underway!

The line for TCFF Friends ticketing this morning stretched down the block, around the corner, over the Cass Street bridge, and into the Chamber of Commerce parking lot! The excitement is real!

Note: It’s not too late to become a Friend if you want to nab your tickets early to the must-see films at this year’s fest. Just click here to become a Friend. Tickets go on sale to the public next Saturday, July 16. You can view this year’s 250+ film lineup here.

Meet the Interns!

Help us welcome our tenth full-time intern class! Festival’s only a few short weeks away and our interns are hard at work helping to prep for TCFF XII. They perform a variety of tasks critical to running the festival, gain valuable career experience, and spend their summer in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Seriously, we couldn’t do it without them! Here’s a look at this summer’s 19 full-time interns:

AbbeyAbbey Hull 

  1. Department: Office
  2. School: Northwestern Michigan College, Sophomore
  3. Play you in a movie: Lena Dunham
  4. Movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “Where to Invade Next”, did a project on it in English class and learned so much
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Going to Clinch Park
  7. Biggest fear: Chimpanzees

AleahAleah Price

  1. Department: Office
  2. School: DePaul University, Freshman
  3. Play you in a movie: Greta Gerwig
  4. Movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “The Bicycle Thief, the montage of the father and son looking for the bike is very emotional
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oats
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Avoid tourists
  7. Biggest fear: Brain Aneurysm


AnnaAnna Ludka

  1. Department: PR/Writing/Media/Website
  2. School: University of Michigan, Senior
  3. Play you in movie: Reese Witherspoon
  4. A movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “My Sister’s Keeper, it was a very emotional movie
  5. Sing at karaoke: “679 by Fetty Wap
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Shop
  7. Biggest Fear: Food that’s not on the kids menu

BrennaBrenna MacArthur

  1. Department: Parties and Events
  2. School: University of Michigan,  Junior
  3. Play you in a movie: Saoirse Ronan
  4. Movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “Braveheart, taught me some of my family history
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Brandy by Through the Looking Glass
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Go to the beach
  7. Biggest fear: The girl from “The Ring”

EmmaEmma Beauchamp

  1. Department: Food Donation Coordination
  2. School: University of Michigan, Alumna
  3. Play you in a movie: Audrey Tautou
  4. Movie/scene in a movie that changed you: Any Wes Anderson film, he puts such detail into his films it inspires me to be as detailed in all of my creative ventures
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Love on Top” by Beyonce
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Go to the beach
  7. Biggest fear: Heights

EmmaSEmma Steffen

  1. Department: Office
  2. School: Blake High School, Senior
  3. Play you in a movie: Aubrey Plaza
  4. Movie/scene  in a movie that changed you: “Harry Potter”, made me more interested in film
  5. Sing at karaoke: “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Hang out at Brew
  7. Biggest fear: Spiders

EricEric Schwartz

  1. Department: Graphic Design
  2. School: Michigan State University, Senior
  3. Play you in a movie:  Scott Adsit
  4. Movie/scene in movie that changed you: The scene from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when Cameron is lying in bed sickly, I relate to that
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Build me up Buttercup” by The Foundations
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Eat samples at Cherry Republic, specifically hot cherry salsa
  7. Biggest fear: Mice

JoshJosh Bittick

  1. Department: Box Office
  2. School: Central Michigan University, Senior
  3. Play in movie: Miles Teller
  4. Movie/scene in movie that changed you: “Wayne’s World”, seeing how it made people laugh and happy I knew that’s what I wanted to do
  5. Sing at karaoke: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Eat food
  7. Biggest fear: Losing the people I care about

KendallKendall Kotcher

  1. Department: PR/Writing/Media/Website
  2. School: Michigan State University, Alumna
  3. Play you in movie: Kristen Wiig
  4. A movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “Bridesmaids”, even at rock bottom there’s always a joke or a friend that can make things better
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen  
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Walk along the bay
  7. Biggest fear: Being arrested for something I didn’t do

MaggieMaggie Marshall

  1. Department: PR/Writing/Media/Website
  2. School: University of Michigan, Alumna
  3. Play you in a movie: Natalie Dormer  
  4. A movie/scene in a movie that changed you: “Singin’ in the Rain,” I’d had a really bad day and that was the first time I realized movies had the power to take you somewhere else, even if it’s only for a few hours  
  5. Sing at karaoke: “Zombie” by the Cranberries
  6. Favorite thing to do downtown TC: Eat at Little Fleet
  7. Biggest fear: Bats

Read more

The Buzz – New and Improved Location

The Buzz has a new location this year! We are leaving the InsideOut Gallery and buzzing on over to Central Grade School, located at 301 Seventh Street, just steps away from Lars Hockstad Auditorium.


Why the move?

Our great partner, InsideOut, gets to concentrate on their ongoing bar, art gallery, and special events. And we get so much more room for activities!!

Your experience at the new and improved Buzz will be better than ever before. There’s better air conditioning and better sight lines with the seats being put on risers. Plus! Concessions and merchandise will be available for purchase (because what’s a movie without a soda and snacks?).

dope_4brand_new_testament_4And the best part of all? All screenings at The Buzz remain entirely FREE and open to the public — one of our best ideas ever!

So check out The Buzz schedule and grab your free tickets online, in person, or over the phone. Tickets are available to Friends of the Film Festival on July 10 and to the general public starting July 16.

In case you’re unable to secure a ticket in advance, standby lines will form before each screening! Either way, we’ve got you covered with FREE tickets and an experience you won’t want to miss!

We’ll see you at The Buzz!

Film Teaser Party Packs

PrintBummed that you missed the TCFF Sneak Peek this past Sunday? Frustrated about so many great movie choices and don’t know what you want to see? Never fear, more sneak peeks are here for those brave enough to sneak through the State’s doors and witness a special TCFF teaser before the festival starts in a few weeks.  

There are two different trailer packs you can attend so that you don’t have to watch hours worth of trailers and miss something spectacular on your bathroom break. There is ONE more week to catch a FREE sneak peek of the films this year so stop on by to one or both of these party packs:

TCFF Trailer Party Pack 1
Saturday, July 9 at 1:00 pm
Wednesday, July 13 at 1:00 pm

TCFF Trailer Party Pack 2
Tuesday, July 12 at 3:30 pm
Thursday, July 14 at 6:00 pm