Trailers, Trailers, Trailers!

Aren’t able to make it to the TCFF Trailer Sneak Peeks at the State? Not a problem! Check out the links to some of TCFF’s most anticipated films below. The festival is only a few short weeks away, so start planning now!

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    TCFF 2016 – A Certified Local Food Event!

    We love to support the community; that’s why this year we’ve worked hard with Taste the Local Difference and Cherry Capital Foods to make the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival a certified local food event!

    What does that mean?

    In order for an event to be a certified local food event, 20% of the food must be sourced locally. 20% of the food at the parties and the green rooms are coming straight from local farmers!

    The Sidebar: Food on Film

    Taste the Local Difference is helping us bring back The Sidebar: Food on Film again this year with screenings and talkbacks with local chefs and farmers who have also prepared a treat inspired by the film for the audience to munch on!

    Watch and Listen!

    Watch this video with Tricia Phelps (Taste the Local Difference), Evan Smith (Cherry Capital Foods), and Jason Gollan (Tamarack Holdings) talk more about what they do and how they’re helping us support local farmers.

    Volunteer Manager Open House: Monday, July 11

    Dinosaur 13 at the State (photo by Alexa Hughes)With just less than a month until the 12th Annual Traverse City Film Festival, our volunteer interns and managers are busily preparing for this year’s festivities! It’s been said before, but it can never be said too often: the festival simply wouldn’t run without the hard work, dedication, and smiles of our volunteers. They are what have given us our unparalleled reputation and unique spirit, and we love them for it!

    We are seeking dedicated individuals to take on very important roles as hospitality, sales, house, venue volunteer, and line assistant managers (Learn more about these specific roles here). Any and all of the information you’ll need can be found at our Volunteer Manager Open House on Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm at the State Theatre!

    And it wouldn’t be a TCFF event at the State Theatre without our world-famous complimentary popcorn and soda — just one of the many volunteer perks! Questions? Feel free to contact the festival office by email at or by phone 231-392-1134. We look forward to seeing your friendly faces at the Open House!

    Olivia de Havilland Cocktail

    OLIVIAAs God is my witness, you’ll never be thirsty again! It’s the great Olivia De Havilland’s 100th birthday and to celebrate this amazing Oscar-winning actress, TCFF (celebrating a centennial of its own this year) is teaming up to feature a delicious drink in her honor.

    The Olivia De Havilland Cocktail will be available at the private Filmmaker Loft all week during the festival and starting TODAY it will be available for everyone to try at The Franklin in Downtown TC and Trattoria Stella in the Grand Traverse Commons. Check out the recipe for the cocktail below which features ingredients from Michigan distilleries including Ferndale’s Valentine, Cork Town’s Two James, and Traverse City’s Grand Traverse.  Frankly, my dear, we do give a damn about this amazing cocktail, and you should too!


    The Oliva de Havilland
    6 parts Mammoth “Old Dam” Gin (Central Lake)
    6 parts Wolf Mood Hibiscus (Michigan-made cocktail mixer)
    1 part simple syrup
    7 parts distilled water
    1 fresh mint leaf for every ounce of cocktail
    Mix all ingredients in a large vessel and chill. It may be served up (if very well-chilled) or on the rocks. A garnish would be gilding the lily.


    TCFF Sneak Peek: July 3, 5, 7

    TrailerSneakPeek-08We know flipping through the pages of the schedule guide, trying to decide which films you want to see at the festival this year can be a bit overwhelming at first. And we know that watching the trailers is often the very best part of going to the movies. So we’ve created an exciting event that combines these two truisms in order to make your TCFF decisions a little easier.

    Join us this Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 pm, Tuesday, July 5, or Thursday, July 7 at 4 pm at the State Theatre for a special presentation of trailers from this year’s official selections! This is the perfect opportunity for you to get a glimpse of the films being shown this year before you buy your tickets! AND…wait for it…wait for it…it’s FREE! It’s 90 minutes of nonstop, action-packed trailer goodness. So get your popcorn and get all hyped up for the 12th year of Just Great Movies!

    Open Space People’s Choice Winner

    14780886816_98d946ec2c_oThe five films in the running for this year’s Open Space People’s Choice all had one thing in common: they were all directed by women. In fact, all of the movies playing at Open Space this year were either written and/or directed by women. Yay 4 women!!

    shrek1And now, what you’ve all been waiting to hear. The 2016 TCFF People’s Choice Winner is…(drum roll, please)…SHREK! Directed by Vicky Jenson and Andrew Adamson, this classic animated fairytale about an ogre’s journey to rescue a princess is guaranteed to make you laugh.

    Thank you to everyone who casted their vote for this year’s People’s Choice Film. “Shrek” will play on Friday, July 29th at Dusk on our famous 65 ft blow up screen at the Open Space. We hope you’re as ~ogrely~ excited as we are!

    TCFF Trailer

    Grab your popcorn, sit back, relax, and enjoy the trailer for TCFF 2016! The films have been picked, the schedule is up, and the festival is just one month away, so prepare yourself by getting a sneak peek at what’s to come at TCFF XII.  This year, we’re celebrating the fantastic work of female filmmakers, who make up only six percent of the film industry. Check out the trailer below to get you pumped for festival and all the “Just Great Movies” we have lined up!

    Volunteer Profile: Karen Ardery

    ScnlQHSjKaren Ardery is thrilled to volunteer for the festival again for the 12th time! Outside the festival you’ll find Karen working as a sales associate for Century 21. In previous festivals you’ve probably seen her running around lending a hand to anyone that needed it, and working as the Driver Manager to take beyond excellent care of our guests at the festival! It’s the incredible hospitality of volunteers like Karen that has given our festival an unparalleled reputation in the filmmaking world. 


    What’s your favorite movie snack?

    Popcorn at the State Theater, of course!

    What advice would you give to new volunteers?

    Have fun, get to know the other volunteers and try to find a venue or job that is a good fit for you.  There is lots of opportunity, within the ranks of the festival, so try different things, and go outside your comfort zone.

    What do you think makes the festival stand out from other film festivals?  

    Year after year, our visiting filmmakers tell us, it is the personalized service they receive from my drivers, festival volunteers and our community, which is very unique, as they do not get the “red carpet treatment” at other festivals.  Our drivers make sure each of our filmmakers are well taken care of, and that they get to their film screenings on time.  If our filmmakers want to do some sightseeing, or have dinner at a certain restaurant, drivers will try to arrange that for them as well.  Our guests are amazed at the number of volunteers, and how well organized the festival is.  They also comment on how friendly everyone is and how beautiful Traverse City is, as most of them have never been here before.  

    Volunteers are the true superstars and superheroes of the festival. When their powers and talents combine, we are able to put on a festival unrivaled for its friendliness and hospitality. Get to know more about these impressive incognitos, read their insider tips, and consider joining our volunteer family.

    Volunteer Profile: Gary Howe

    Photographers Robert Bushway and Gary Howe pose during TCFF 2013City Commissioner Gary Howe is a volunteer photographer who’s been taking some of the festival’s most iconic pictures since day one (yes, all the amazing photos you see on our website and in our program are taken by our incredible volunteers!) A jack-of-all-trades, he’s also helped with social media, curating our amazing Flickr feed, and keeping the streets clean!


    What’s the best part about volunteering for the festival?

    Volunteering puts you in the mix and is a fun and interesting way to participate in the week. The volunteers are some of the best people you’ll ever meet, so the friendships created during the week are really special.

    Photo by Gary Howe

    Photo by Gary Howe

    What is a movie that changed you?

    “Beasts of a Southern Wild”

    What advice would you give to new volunteers?

    Stay flexible. Be useful. Help make it a great festival.

    What’s your favorite movie snack?

    I can devour a bag of Reece’s Pieces before the first line is uttered.

    Photo by Gary Howe

    Photo by Gary Howe

    What is a must-do for a newbie at the TCFF?

    Get a ticket for a Movie on a Boat. It’s a unique experience. 

    Volunteers are the true superstars and superheroes of the festival. When their powers and talents combine, we are able to put on a festival unrivaled for its friendliness and hospitality. Get to know more about these impressive incognitos, read their insider tips, and consider joining our volunteer family.

    Open Space People’s Choice Voting is Live!

    19501636214_7b405ab277_b We are making our final decisions about what films will play at this year’s Traverse City Film Festival, July 26 – 31 — an epic year that will celebrate 100 years of moviegoing magic as we toast the State Theatre’s Centennial 1916-2016!

    But one very important thing is still missing from our program…YOU. Each year we ask you to choose the film we show on Friday night at the Open Space. Michael has watched hundreds and hundreds of movies this year in order to bring you the best possible lineup of undiscovered gems from the world over, so if you could do him a solid and help pick one more, we sure would appreciate it!

    20175124415_9a81da0d22_b2016 OPEN SPACE PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOTE

    • Clueless
    • Deep Impact
    • Shrek
    • Sleepless in Seattle
    • Twilight

    Voting has ended – Shrek has won!

    The winning film will be shown on Friday, July 29 on our giant 65-foot inflatable screen set against the beautiful Traverse City bayfront, the centerpiece of our gift to the community, the ever-popular, always-spectacular Open Space screenings. 

    We hope to see you by the bay Tuesday, July 26 through Sunday, July 31 for music, entertainment, and fun beginning at 7 pm. Movies hit the screen at dusk. There’s no better place to gather with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy summertime in glorious Northern Michigan than at our outdoor cinema under the stars. 

    Results of the People’s Choice vote will be announced along with the full festival schedule on Friday, June 24. So vote now, and stay tuned!