10th Anniversary Traverse City Film Festival Wraps with Record Sell Outs
131,000 Admissions to 230 films
TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. (August 4, 2014) — After six incredible days of “Just Great Movies,” the 10th Anniversary Traverse City Film Festival proved to be the biggest and best festival yet, demolishing previous records with more admissions, more screenings, more sold out shows, and several innovative additions.
The six-day cinema celebration founded, programmed, and run by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore welcomed over 131,000 admissions this year, an increase of 12,000 over last year. Festival wide, 170 screenings during the week were sold out!
Across 12 different venues, the festival presented 128 feature films, 85 shorts, 12 film school classes, 10 “Cinema Salon” outdoor movie discussions, five free filmmaker panels, seven parties, and a podcast with comedian Doug Benson. TCFF brought 110 filmmakers and guests to accompany their films from around the world and across the country to Northern Michigan.
“The word of the street is that this was our best festival yet,” said founder Michael Moore. “I am very happy that our 10th Anniversary will be remembered for some time to come.”
This year’s 10th Anniversary celebration brought many exciting new additions and features to the festival, including two new theaters/venues, one of which wasn’t even on land. “Movies on a Boat” let festival attendees set sail for a moviegoing adventure unlike any other.
The festival’s other new venue, The Buzz at InsideOut Gallery, was dedicated to offering attendees free screenings all day, every festival day, and also featured a special look back at milestone films from the past nine years. The Buzz instantly became one of the most popular venues this year.
The look back continued with this year’s Open Space lineup that drew tens of thousands to our bayfront movie theater under the stars — a “best of” lineup from the past nine years featuring “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “Casablanca,” “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope™,” “The Goonies,” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
In addition, the festival got things started early this year with Movies Around the Bay, visiting Manistee, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Frankfort, Elk Rapids, and Suttons Bay for special advance screenings of festival films in the scenic and historic theaters around the region.
The festival hosted a special Around the World screening that joined 21st century technology with one of the 20th century’s greatest inventions to bring people together for an altogether unique cinematic experience, watching “1971” simultaneously across time zones in far-flung locales from China to Australia, and talking before and afterwards about the film.
Technology was also a focus at Next, the festival’s free showcase of media that experiments with storytelling through interactive games and virtual reality — making its debut this year thanks to a partnership with Michigan State University.
The festival would not be possible without the 1,600 volunteers who donated over 25,000 hours of time to the festival, including 500 volunteer managers who donate far more than 40 hours per week for the past few weeks.
The festival was honored by the presence of many renowned and up and coming filmmakers and guests, including Chaz Ebert (“Life Itself”), Michael Apted (“Bending the Light”), Fisher Stevens (“Mission Blue”), Tracy Droz Tragos (“Rich Hill”), Charlie Siskel (“Finding Vivian Maier”), Lucy Walker (“The Lion’s Mouth Opens”), Todd Miller (“Dinosaur 13”), Dan Schechter (“Life of Crime”), Geeta and Ravi Patel (“Meet the Patels”), Victor Levin (“5 to 7”), actor Paul Eenhoorn (“Land Ho!”), Brian Knappenberger (“The Internet’s Own Boy”), and David Lascher (“Sister”).
Academy award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple attended with her film “Running from Crazy” and accepted this year’s Mid-Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking career.
Ira Deutchman, chair of the Columbia University Film School, and famed archivist Rick Prelinger received this year’s Visionary Award. The 11-year old actress and newcomer Grace Kaufman also received the festival’s Discovery Award.
The over 110 filmmakers and industry guests who visited with their films participated in free panel discussions, Q & A discussions, and film school classes.
Also attending the festival were TCFF board members Grammy Award-winner Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Mark Cousins (“The Story of Film: An Odyssey”), Academy Award-nominee Tia Lessin (“Trouble the Water”), and Emmy Award-winning Larry Charles (“Borat,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) — who also hosted a very special event “An Evening with Larry Charles.”
The board was on hand to support the festival’s star-studded auction, raising funds to put a Hollywood style Walk of Fame on Front Street in front of the historic State Theatre. The festival has been collecting handprints since the festival’s inception including Madonna, Wim Wenders, Susan Sarandon, Kristen Bell, and more. The auction continues through August 5 and people can check out the unique experiences and collectibles at tcff.org/auction.
A “festival-within-a-festival” of sorts took place during the week with over 100 different musicians playing a total of 300 different sets during the festival, performing before screenings in theater venues, at parties, and on the Clinch Park Music Stage, housed in the Clinch Park pavilion overlooking Grand Traverse Bay.
The festival welcomed 75 new sponsors this year, and saw a 15 percent increase in sponsor dollar support. This year also featured a notable increase in “Friends of the Film Festival” memberships for the TCFF 10th Anniversary. Friend memberships are available at half price through September 1, 2014.
Next year, the eleventh annual Traverse City Film Festival will take place July 28-Aug 2, 2015. For more information, visit tcff.org or call 231-392-1134.
Traverse City Film Festival 2014 Awards
The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to the idea that “One Great Movie Can Change You: Just Great Movies” and to helping save one of America’s few indigenous art forms — the cinema. The festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan for the annual film festival in late July to early August.
It was instrumental in renovating a shuttered historic downtown movie house, the State Theatre, which it continues to own and operate as a year-round, community-based, and volunteer-staffed art house movie theater. Just this past year, the festival renovated the historic Con Foster Museum building in Clinch Park and turned it into a sister screen for the State Theatre, the Bijou by the Bay.
The festival was founded by Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore who makes his home here, runs the festival, and serves as president of the board of directors. Other board members are filmmakers Rod Birleson (producer, “Capitalism: A Love Story”), Larry Charles (director, “Borat”), Terry George (director, “Hotel Rwanda”), Jeff Daniels (actor, “The Newsroom”), Tom Morello (musician, Rage Against the Machine), Christine Lahti (actor, “Running on Empty”), Mark Cousins (director, “The Story of Film: An Odyssey”), Tia Lessin (director, “Trouble the Water”), as well as Traverse City residents photographer John Robert Williams and Walt Disney Co. marketing executive Penny Milliken.