Michael Moore Announces Opening, Closing Night Films for Traverse City Film FestivalAlso Reveals: Midwest Premieres For Films By Jake Kasdan, Larry Charles; Festival To Include Retrospective Of Iranian Cinema; "Jurassic Park," "Napoleon Dynamite" Added To Free Outdoor Movies On The Bay
Traverse City, MI (June 23, 2006) - A mock-documentary produced by Jeff Goldblum and the latest comedy from Woody Allen starring Scarlett Johansson will kick-off and wrap-up this summer's second annual Traverse City Film Festival, a week-long celebration of movies founded and run by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.
"Pittsburgh," the smash hit of this spring's Tribeca Film Festival, will open the 2006 festival at a star-studded event on Monday evening, July 31, at Traverse City's historic State Theatre. The deadpan comedy stars Goldblum playing himself as an actor who puts his Hollywood acting life on hold to star alongside his new girlfriend in a Pittsburgh regional theater production of "The Music Man." An all-star cast joins Goldblum in self-parody, including Illeana Douglas, Ed Begley Jr. and rock singers Moby and Alanis Morissette.
The opening night festivities will include two screenings of "Pittsburgh" at 6 and 9 p.m. and an opening night party in the Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College's Great Lakes Campus. Honored guests attending opening night this year include Terry George (director of "Hotel Rwanda"), Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange"), Jan Harlan (Executive Producer, "The Shining, "Full Metal Jacket," "Eyes Wide Shut") and Ari Emanuel (founding partner, The Endeavor Agency).
The festival will close the following Sunday, August 6, with "Scoop," the latest comedy from America's master filmmaker, Woody Allen. The film stars Scarlett Johannsen as a college journalist in London who stumbles upon a big story. Her co-stars include Hugh Jackman, Ian McShane and Allen himself. There will be two screenings at 7 and 10 p.m., and the closing night party will be held at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, better known as historic Building 50.
The screening of "Scoop" represents its Midwest premiere.
"We are very proud to be among the first to show this wonderful film in our part of the country," said Michael Moore. "It's rare that a smart, adult comedy such as this is made these days and we want to encourage more of that kind of filmmaking."
Moore said that the full festival schedule of 60-plus films will be released on Friday, June 30, and that all tickets will go on sale the following Friday, July 7, at noon. All films are $7 (except for opening and closing night, which are $25), and tickets may be purchased online ("the fastest and easiest way," says Moore), by phone, or in person at the festival box office at the State Theatre on Front Street. Most films last year sold out and tickets are expected to go fast again this year.
Moore also announced the following events that will take place at this summer's festival:
The Traverse City Film Festival was founded last year by Moore who wanted to "essentially invite a bunch of people into my living room and watch a bunch of movies that I've run across, films that I really love." The living room ended up being downtown Traverse City, Michigan (Moore's home state), in four movie houses: the historic movie palace known as the State Theatre (it had been shuttered for a decade until the festival re-opened and refurbished it for last year's festival), the 100-year-old, restored City Opera House, the Old Town Playhouse, and the Open Space Park on Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. Thousands showed up in the "living room," and over 50,000 admissions were recorded.
About the Traverse City Film Festival
The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, non-profit organization committed to showing "Just Great Movies" and helping to save one of America's few indigenous art forms - the cinema. In its second year, the Traverse City Film Festival has already become one of the biggest film festivals in the Midwest. With its 50,000 admissions in summer 2005, the festival pumped an estimated 5 million dollars into the local economy. Founded by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and co-founders, local photographer John Robert Williams and New York Times best selling author Doug Stanton, the festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan, creating a level of excitement one local paper said was "the best thing to happen here since the Ice Age left us Lake Michigan."