6th Annual Traverse City Film Festival Tallies Highest Numbers Yet
Traverse City, Mich. (August 2, 2010) — The 2010 Traverse City Film Festival wrapped up another groundbreaking year with more movies, more tickets, more admissions and more screenings. The six-day festival, which has gained a reputation for attracting the best in independent world cinema, ran from July 27 through August 1, and tallied more than 106,000 admissions.
During the opening night of the festival, Oscar-winning filmmaker, festival founder and president Michael Moore spoke about the communal aspect to film. “Whether you laugh or cry or get mad, ponder something or escape, the feeling of doing that collectively is so much different than doing it alone. That’s why the movies will never die, no matter how many devices are invented. People still want to get out of the house and go to the movies.”
The festival presented films from over 30 countries and included nine sessions of a new film forum, eight sessions of the popular film school and five free daily industry panel discussions. In addition, the event saw a ticket sales increase of more than 10 percent, breaking its original record set just last year.
In all, festivalgoers were offered screenings of 80 features and 40 short films, with a special salute to Cuban filmmaking and the festival’s first-ever 3D screenings. In its first year, the Film Forum series in Lay Park drew significant crowds of filmgoers who came together to discuss topics surrounding some of the fascinating and controversial films in the festival.
Lifetime Achievement awards went to festival guests Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics. John Hughes was honored with this year’s Michigan Filmmaker Award, given to Michigan natives for their contributions to the art of cinema. And Michael Moore hosted a summit of documentary filmmakers to discuss ways to effectively distribute non-fiction films and bring great documentaries to audiences throughout the U.S. and the world.
Plans are also in place to revitalize downtown theaters across Michigan – on Opening Night, Moore announced that he will found the “State Theater Project,” an initiative that will offer seed grants to non-profit theaters in Michigan and train their managers in Traverse City. The project will be funded by the rebate Moore will receive for having made “Capitalism: A Love Story” in Michigan. He hopes to begin dispersing grants in 2011.
The following festival awards were announced Sunday, August 1 at the Closing Night Party:
Audience Award, Best Fiction Film – “The Concert”
Audience Award, Best Non-Fiction Film – “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
Founders Prize, Best Fiction Film – “Lebanon, PA.” and “A Brand New Life”
Founders Prize, Best Non-Fiction Film – “The Elephant in the Living Room” and “The Tillman Story”
Founders Prize, Best of Fest, Fiction – “Will You Marry Us?”
Founders Prize, Best of Fest, Non-Fiction – “Budrus”
Stanley Kubrick Award for Bold and Innovative Filmmaking – “Dreaming in Blue,” “Horn of Plenty,” “Strawberry and Chocolate” and “Viva Cuba”
Jury Award, Best Fiction Film – “In the Beginning”
Jury Award, Best Original Vision, Fiction – “Castaway on the Moon”
Jury Award, Best Debut Fiction Feature – “Mid-August Lunch”
Fiction Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance – “Farsan (Father) – Jan Fares”
Fiction Jury Prize for Emerging Talent – TIE
“Tiny Furniture” – Lena Dunham
“The Happy Poet” – Paul Gordon
Non-Fiction Jury Award, Best Film – “The Miscreants of Taliwood”
Non-Fiction Jury Award, Best U.S. Film – “How to Fold a Flag”
Non-Fiction Jury Award, Best Foreign Film – “His & Hers”
Non-Fiction Special Jury Prize – “Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story”
Non-Fiction Jury Award, Best Environmental Film – “Gasland”
Best Fiction Short Film – “The Hardest Part,” Oliver Refson (UK)
Best Non-Fiction Short Film – “How To Save A Fish From Drowning,” Kelly Neal (UK)
Best Animated Short Film – “The Man Who Slept,” Ines Sedan (France, Canada)
Emerging Filmmaker Short Film – “God Of Love,” Luke Matheny (USA)
Judges’ Special Mention Short Film – “Off Season,” Jonathan Van Tulleken (USA)
The 2010 panelists, visiting filmmakers and industry included:
Clark Bunting and Mark Lewis (“Cane Toads: The Conquest”), the Alloy Orchestra, Tom Bernard and Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics), Ben Hickernell and Rachel Kitson (“Lebanon, Pa.”), Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), Heidi Ewing (“12th & Delaware”), Julia Bacha (“Budrus”), Jeff Deutchman (“11/4/08”), Filip Remunda and Vit Klusak (“Czech Peace”), Sabina Guzzanti (“Draquila – Italy Trembles”), Michael Webber and Tim Harrison (“The Elephant in the Living Room”), David Ridgen and Nicolas Rossier (“American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein”), Sam Rush and Scot McFadyen (“Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage”), Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi (“Cleanflix”), Lee Storey (“Smile ‘Til it Hurts: The Up with People Story”), Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith (“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”), Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic (“GasLand”), Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet (“8: The Mormon Proposition”), Jacob Tierney and Emily Hampshire (“The Trotsky”), Rory Kennedy (“The Fence”), Rick Rowley (“Blackwater’s Youngest Victim”), Jeffrey and Matthew Fine (“Cherry”), Paul Gordon and David Hartstein (“The Happy Poet”), Thomas Ikimi (“Legacy”), Jon Alpert (“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of the Sichuan Province”), Jonathon Powers (“How to Fold a Flag”), Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm (“Gandhi at the Bat”), S. Vollie Osborn (“Monsters Down the Hall”), Sharon Shattuck (“Parasites: A User’s Guide”), Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn (“Surface”), Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti (“Viva Cuba”), Mirtha Ibarra (“Strawberry and Chocolate”), Ian Padron (“Dreaming In Blue”), Neil Diamond and Chris Eyre (“Reel Injun”), Bill Plympton (“The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger”), and Lesley Chilcott (“Waiting for ‘Superman’”).
For more information on this year’s festival, please call 231-392-1134 or visit traversecityfilmfest.org.