Traverse City Film Festival Brings a Record 100 Filmmakers to 7th Annual Festival with Assistance from Grant from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (July 20, 2011) — With help from a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, over 100 guests have been confirmed for the seventh annual Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), including Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind international superstar Elmo; award-winning actor Matthew Modine; and actor, filmmaker, and Traverse City Comedy Festival co-founder Jeff Garlin.
The festival has been honored as one of 30 US film festivals this year to receive a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy has been awarding film festivals for the past eleven years. The Academy’s generous $20,000 donation will help the festival bring more filmmakers to this year’s festival than ever before, allowing us to engage diverse audiences and to encourage filmmakers, especially those for whom the festival offers a much needed opportunity to show their films to these diverse audiences and to receive feedback from them.
“We cannot thank the Academy enough for awarding us this grant, which is essential to the work of the festival. There is nothing like the magic of watching the film with an audience and then getting to talk about that film with others, and especially with the filmmaker,” says Deb Lake, Executive Director of the Traverse City Film Festival.
In attendance on Opening Night, July 26, will be union members Gwen Davis, Sheila Douglas, and Vera Sime from the Ford auto plant strike portrayed in opening night film “Made in Dagenham,” as well as “Even the Rain” influence Marcela Olivera.
Actor Mary Badham, who worked along side Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall while playing Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” will speak to the audience after a 50th anniversary screening of the film.
Returning to the festival this year is Cuban filmmaker Ian Padron with the world premiere of “Habanastation,” the first film to be produced by the Traverse City Film Festival through the TCFF Cuban Film Fund. Attending with Padron will be actress Rosa Blanco Blanca. The Alloy Orchestra is back to entertain festival-goers, accompanying the premiere of “Wild & Weird: Alloy Orchestra’s Favorite Short Silent Films.”
Cheryl Rogers-Barnett and Larry Barnett, daughter and son-in-law of legendary western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, will join us to share stories as the festival screens “Don’t Fence Me In” and “Under Western Stars.” The movies are being shown as part of the festival’s 100th Birthday Celebration of Roy Rogers.
Several documentaries are scheduled to have guests in attendance who appear in the films. “Where do Soldiers Come From” director Heather Courtney and the three soldiers from the film, Matthew Beaudoin, Cole Smith, and Dominic Fredianelli, will attend the festival. “Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football” will have several team members present (Baquer Zayed, Ali Baidoun, Hassan Houssailky, Bilal Abu-Omarah), in addition to director Rashid Ghazi, producers Ash-har Quraishi and Basma Babar-Quraishi, and team coach Fouad Zaban. Nikol Levy, band member from “When the Drum is Beating,” will attend along with director Whitney Dow and producer Jennifer Latham (“When the Drum is Beating”), and President Kevin Baugh from “How to Start Your Own Country” will be present at screenings with director Jody Shapiro and film subject Gregory Green. Director Anthony Baxter and producer Richard Phinney will be here from Scotland to represent their film, “You’ve Been Trumped.”
The festival will be hosting actor Sandrine Bonnaire, considered to be the French Julia Roberts, along with Caroline Bottaro, the director of “Queen to Play.” Michael Rymer, director of “Face to Face,” will fly in from Australia with casting director Loretta Crawford.
Other filmmakers and guests scheduled to attend this year’s festival include: Laura Bari (“Antoine”); Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley (“Battle for Brooklyn”); Corinne LaPook, Constance Marks, Philip Shane, Justin Weinstein, and James Miller (“Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”); Sasha Reuther (“Brothers on the Line”); Rodman Flender (“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop”); Brett and Drew Pierce, Kevin Van Hagen, Mike McKiddy and Ross Kidder (“Deadheads”); Julia Haslett (“An Encounter With Simone Weil”); Marty Syjurco and Michael Collins (“Give Up Tomorrow”); Gaukur Ulfarsson, Sigvaldi Karason and Bjorn Ofeigsson (“Gnarr”); Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis (“Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”); Susan Saladoff (“Hot Coffee”); Sam Cullman (“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”); Nancy Buriski and Elisabeth James (“The Loving Story”); Sandra Schulberg (“Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today: The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration”); James Westby and Katie O’Grady (“Rid of Me”); Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon (“Semper Fi: Always Faithful”); Terence Ziegler, Adam Rackoff and Matthew Modine (“Jesus Was a Commie”); Nick August-Perna and Chris Dapkins (“The Swell Season”); Lydia Nibley and Richard LaFortune (“Two Spirits”); John Gianvito (“Vapor Trail (Clark)”); Laura Israel and Tracey Foster (“Windfall”); Anne Bohlen (“With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade”); and short filmmakers Benjamin Busch (“Bright”), Paola Mendoza (“La Toma”), Robert James and Kyle Parker (“Library of Dust”), and Michael Nathanson (“Time Freak”).
Thanks to the additional funding from the Academy and support from the community, the Traverse City Film Festival will bring more national and international filmmakers than ever before to our great celebration of cinema in northern Michigan.
About the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards — in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
About the Traverse City Film Festival:
The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to showing “Just Great Movies” and helping to 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. It was instrumental in renovating a shuttered historical downtown movie house, the State Theatre, which it continues to own and operate as a year-round, community-based, mission-driven and volunteer-staffed art house movie theater.
The festival was founded by Academy Award-winning Director Michael Moore, who runs the festival and serves as president of the board of directors. Other board members are photographer John Robert Williams and New York Times best-selling author Doug Stanton, both Traverse City residents, and filmmakers Larry Charles (director, “Borat”), Terry George (director, “Hotel Rwanda”), Sabina Guzzanti (director, “Viva Zapatero!”), and Christine Lahti (actor, “Running on Empty”).
For more information visit www.traversecityfilmfest.org or download the TCFF Festival Genius iPhone app.