NewsDirectors of "Borat," "Hotel Rwanda" Join Traverse City Film Festival Board
December 13, 2006
Traverse City has taken one more step closer toward Hollywood. Or, to be more exact, a bit more of Hollywood is coming to Traverse City.
Preparing to enter its third year, and fast becoming one of the most talked-about events in the film world, the Traverse City Film Festival has announced the addition of two of the hottest filmmakers today as new members of the film festival's board of directors.
Larry Charles, the director of largest grossing comedy of the year, "Borat," has been elected to the TCFF board. "Borat" had its North American premiere in Traverse City at last summer's film festival.
Charles is joined by Terry George, the director of the Academy Award nominated "Hotel Rwanda," as the other new member of the TCFF board.
"We are proud and honored that both Larry and Terry will be part of our growing festival," said Michael Moore, the festival's founder. "It's a nice sign that what we are doing here in Traverse City has captured the attention of some of the country's best filmmakers."
Moore said that both Charles and George were so impressed with the people they met and the time they spent in Traverse City at last year's festival, they each said that they wanted to return to the festival and do something more to support it.
"With all the response and accolades 'Borat' has received, nothing has matched its first screening in Traverse City," Charles said. "The roof seemed like it was lifting off the State Theatre. The people of Traverse City are the best, and the festival was unlike anything else I've attended around the country. I look forward to supporting it in whatever way I can."
Terry George said, "From the morning of the festival's first day, when Michael and I taught the master class for local students interested in filmmaking, to the last day when local residents took me fishing in Leelanau County, I can't remember when I've had a better time at a film festival. Traverse City has something special and I am looking forward to helping bring new and exciting films and filmmakers to the Traverse City Film Festival."
Larry Charles' "Borat" was named this week by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of 2007. Its star, Sacha Baron Cohen, was also named Best Actor of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics. Charles was also one of the original writers of "Seinfeld," a director of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and a writer/producer of HBO's "Entourage."
George, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing "In the Name of the Father." His "Hotel Rwanda" received three Oscar nominations. He is currently directing a feature to be released next year starring Jennifer Connelly and Joaquin Phoenix.
Charles and George join the festival's original three board members -- Moore, John Robert Williams and Doug Stanton -- to make up the new 5-member board that oversees the festival.
"The board will remain locally-controlled," said Moore. "But we want a couple of the seats to be occupied by people we admire as filmmakers. This will go a long way in helping the TCFF become the world-class film festival we hope it will be."
The dates for this year's festival will be announced within the next month, but Moore did say the closing night would be Sunday, August 5th. "We're in the process of determining just how many days long the festival should be. We will come to a decision in the next few weeks. We want to keep the festival manageable while guaranteeing the high level of quality people in the area have come to expect."
News Archives and Media Information
"Borat" director Larry Charles. Photo by Alex Lambrinidis.
"Hotel Rwanda" director Terry George.