The 2012 Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) welcomes over 80 filmmakers and industry professionals as guests to the 8th annual festival held July 31-August 5.
Academy Award-winning actor Susan Sarandon will be a special 2012 festival guest according to Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning director and festival founder.
“It’s a privilege to welcome Ms. Sarandon to our festival. I’m a great admirer of her political and artistic work, and I’m so pleased to introduce her to the hospitality, vitality and beauty of Northern Michigan.”
Direct from Hollywood, director Jay Roach will bring a special preview of his latest comedy “The Campaign.” Funnymen Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis star in this side-splitting political satire, and Roach is giving Traverse City the chance to see it first.
Roach’s previous credits include “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” and its sequels “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” He directed and produced the wildly popular “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers,” as well HBO’s “Game Change.”
Roach joins an amazing team of guests and filmmakers that is sure to be a 2012 highlight. Director Wim Wenders, another legend of cinema, will have two of his greatest features and a collection of four short films showcased as part of the Tribute to Wim Wenders program. Moore will host Wenders as he participates in an intimate discussion on the Sunday Film Industry Panel.
“Nothing can replace the experience of seeing a filmmaker live, and discussing the amazing film you just watched. We want to give the audience the chance to personally engage with the magic of cinema,” says Moore.
Hollywood A-lister Kristen Bell will return to her home state to host a sneak preview of her new film, “Hit and Run.” She will join other Michigan natives such as Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Detropia”) who enhance the festival with moviegoer Q&A sessions and other appearances.
This year’s Michigan Filmmaker award will be presented posthumously to Animation pioneer Winsor McCay, as contemporary animator Bill Plympton joins the celebration to honor his legacy. Another prolific animator, Craig “Spike” Decker, of the venerable Spike & Mike team, will present their touring Festival of Animation, bringing the audience a brilliant and bizarre collection of shorts.
The Closing Night film, “The Zen of Bennett,” presents one of music’s greatest talents from a view so intimate it could only be captured by family. Producer Jennifer Lebeau and Tony Bennett’s son, producer Danny Bennett, will be on hand to talk about documenting the powerful, talented, and passionate artist.
Julia Reichert will discuss her landmark documentary “Growing Up Female,” presented alongside other powerful shorts from the women’s rights era of the early1970s. The film is part of the celebration of Women, in film and in history. “Sexy Baby,” exploring the toll our culture has taken on our nation’s women, will be presented by first-time directors Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer, and subjects Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart and Jennifer Bonjean.
Filmmakers from Israel (Arnon Goldfinger, “The Flat”) to Sweden (Fredrik Gertten, “Big Boys Gone Bananas!*”) come to tell their stories and experience how the Michigan community expresses their love of great cinema. Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul will address the audience after two sold-out Opening Night screenings of “Searching for Sugar Man.” The Traverse City Film Festival is proud to host the US premier of the UK and Ireland film “The Reluctant Revolutionary,” directed by attending filmmaker Sean McAllister.
Returning to the festival with brand-new films are Bob Byington (“RSO” and “Harmony and Me,” TCFF ’09) with “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” and Amy Berg (“Deliver Us from Evil,” TCFF ’07) presenting “West of Memphis.” The Alloy Orchestra performances are masterful fan-favorites that TCFF are glad to call regulars. This year, they will accompany Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller “Blackmail.”
Also returning are Traverse City Film Festival board members Sabina Guzzanti, Larry Charles and Terry George. Charles, one of the original writers for “Seinfeld” and director of hit comedies “Borat” and “Bruno,” brings a special screening of his latest film “The Dictator,” with actor Kevin Corrigan. Academy Award-winner and two-time nominee Terry George will be presenting his new comedy, “Whole Lotta Sole.”
Other guests and filmmakers include:
Becca Keating (AAFF Community Development Manager)
Michael Raisler (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)
Brenna Sanchez, Tom Putnam, and firefighters from Detroit’s Engine Company 50
Jake Schreier (“Robot & Frank”)
Mark Cousins (“Story of Film: An Odyssey”)
Michael McSweeney (“Ashes of America”)
Brian Knappenberger (“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists”)
Amie Williams, Brian Austin, and Melissa Austin (“We Are Wisconsin”)
Kevin Breslin (“#whilewewatch”)
Joanna Arnow (“Month One”)
Pat Healy (“Compliance”)
Benjamin Dickinson and Lindsay Burdge (“First Winter”)
Eric Kissack, Lisa Rudin, Kenny Stevenson, and Dorien Davies (“Missed Connections”)
Daniel Schechter (“Supporting Characters”)
Ron Morales and Rebecca Lundgren (“Graceland”)
Catherine Murphy (“Maestra”)
Julia Bacha (“My Neighborhood”)
David Darg and Bryn Mooser (“Baseball in the Time of Cholera”)
U of M student filmmakers (U of M Student Films)
Emad Burnat (“5 Broken Cameras”) and family
Beth and George Gage (“Bidder 70”)
Alison Klayman ( “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”)
Rebecca Richman Cohen (“Code of the West”)
Craig Atkinson (“Detropia”)
Erik Nelson (“Dinotasia)
Ramona S. Diaz and Capella Fahoome Brogden (“Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s
Josh Koury, Myles Kane, Troy Bernier, and Eric Swain (“Journey to Planet X”)
Tony D’Annunzio and Karl Rausch (“Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story”)
Scott Thurman (“The Revisionaries”)
Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh (“Scenes of a Crime”)
Chris Kenneally (“Side by Side”)
Craig Juntunen (“Stuck”)
Nisha Pahuja (“The World Before Her”)