Traverse City Film Festival releases 2009 schedule
TRAVERSE CITY (Friday, July 3, 2009) — The Traverse City Film Festival has announced what founder Michael Moore says is the best movie lineup in its five-year history for the 2009 event, running July 28 through Aug 2.
“Last year we had over 80,000 admissions and we expect even more this year,” Moore said. “We’re bringing the absolute best in new films from around the world and here at home.”
Tickets go on sale to Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival July 12, with public sales starting July 18. Meanwhile, the entire schedule can be viewed at www.traversecityfilmfestival.org.
Film fans will be thrilled to see the selection, starting with the opening night “Troubled Water” and the closing night “Julie & Julia.”
From Norway, which plays a prominent role in this year’s festival, “Troubled Water” from director Erik Poppe is about a young man just released from prison after serving eight years for a terrible crime. On the path to redemption, he is soon forced to confront his past when he encounters a woman whose life has been forever scarred by his actions.
“Julie & Julia” is the much-anticipated film starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child with Amy Adams in Nora Ephron’s story about the early days of renowned chef’s career, and Julie Powell’s attempt — more than 40 years later — to cook and blog her way through all 524 recipes in Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in just one year. Traverse City festival attendees will get to see “Julie & Julia” ahead of its release in theaters across the U.S.
In between, festival-goers will be able to choose from a total of 71 features and short films representing more than 30 countries and five continents. Consider the titles heard round the world and garnering acclaim at other festivals, too many to list here, but including: “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” “Waltz with Bashir,” “Which Way Home,” “Outrage,” “Learning Gravity,” “The Answer Man,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “The Greatest,” “Humpday” and Sugar.”
From Austin, which Moore refers to as “the new hotbed of American Independent Cinema,” comes “Winnebago Man,” “Registered Sex Offender” and “Harmony and Me.”
A selection of shorts from around the world, along with 14 English language student shorts and two from the University of Michigan’s Film and Video Student Association are being featured.
That’s in addition to appearances by many filmmakers, daily panel discussions, an array of parties and other special events including nightly free films on a huge inflatable screen set against the beautiful Traverse City waterfront.
There’s also a Paul Mazursky Tribute, with the legendary writer/director attending in person to present and discuss his classic films, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “Enemies, A Love Story” and “An Unmarried Woman.”
Traverse City celebrates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock with a screening of never-before-seen footage from the concert and special guests who performed at Woodstock live on stage at the State Theatre.
“Greetings from Tehran” and “Palestine and Vine” are two sections of films from the Middle East, including the new documentary, “Rachel,” about the life and death of Rachel Corrie, an American who sacrificed her life to help the Palestinian people. Her parents will attend.
“We’re bringing at least one, maybe two, Palestinian filmmakers,” Moore said. “At this time in history, more than ever, we need to hear voices from that part of the world that are not filtered by the Western media.”
Moore himself will host a special 20th anniversary screening of his first film, “Roger & Me.” Special guests from the film will attend as well.
Film Festival board member Larry Charles will present a one-time-only screening of outtakes from his new film, “Bruno,” starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Comedian Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) will give a sneak preview of a surprise title. Other filmmakers attending include Jim Czarnecki, co-producer with Kathleen Glynn of “Bowling for Columbine,” who will bring his new film, “Soundtrack for a Revolution.” Comedian Patton Oswalt will show his new movie, “Big Fan.” And Traverse City will host filmmakers from the great filmmaking city of Austin, Texas: “Harmony and Me” director Robert Byington and “Winnebago Man’s” Ben Steinbauer.
The environment takes center stage with eight eye-opening documentaries that shine light on urgent problems facing the planet.
Look for new running events including a mile race featuring elite competitors downtown and a 5K race with runners in costume along the TART trail, ending in downtown Traverse City, both on Saturday night, Aug. 1. Also new this year is the TCFF Kids Fest offering new, independent films for young people Wednesday through Saturday mornings at the State Theatre. And the annual master class for student filmmakers is being expanded to a week-long film school for anyone interested in the art of cinema.
Located at 300 East Front Street (next to Créma, one block east of the State Theatre) in downtown Traverse City, the festival box office, store and cybercafe is the place to purchase tickets and buy festival merchandise. Sponsored by Art Van Furniture, it features an incredibly comfortable place to review the schedule, watch trailers, discuss films, surf the web on computers provided by City Mac + Digital Cafe, and enjoy complimentary coffee and snacks provided by Crema.
Tickets go on sale at the Front Street box office to Friends of the Film Festival on Sunday, July 12, at 12 noon on a walk-up basis only. At 6 pm that day, Friends my also begin purchasing tickets by phone and online.
Public ticket sales begin Saturday, July 18, for walk-up only starting at noon. Phone and Internet sales commence at 6 p.m.
Admission prices to all festival events will remain the same as last year. Tickets to regular movies are $9. Opening and closing night films are $25, with opening and closing night parties ticketed separately at $50. Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival get half off opening and closing night party tickets, according to their benefit level.
In order to keep ticket prices the same, a limited number of tax-deductible $2,500 Producer’s Passes will be available beginning July 8. The passes, being offered as a fundraiser for the festival, are non transferable and give the bearer a guaranteed seat at, and early access to, all festival films and events.
To view the 2009 Film Festival Guide online, visit http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org/tixSYS/2009/filmguide/