With just 25 days to go, we thought you could use some reminders of why TCFF is the world’s greatest film festival. (Disclaimer: this list does not claim to be exhaustive!)
25. You’re in Traverse City!
And what could be better? You’re surrounded by the community-oriented, friendly people of Northern Michigan. The cherries are unbeatable and so is our hometown spirit!
24. Our star-studded board of directors
Michael Moore is our founder, president, and programmer but the Oscar-winning filmmaker is certainly not TCFF’s only claim to fame! Our board of directors is made up of big names in entertainment: Larry Charles (Director of “Borat”), Christine Lahti (Actress), and Jeff Daniels (Actor), to name a few.
23. We love to continue the conversation
TCFF doesn’t stop at the film screenings. We provide plenty of opportunities for socializing and discussion. Whether picking a filmmaker’s brain at one of our free discussion panels or sippin’ a cold one with filmmakers and moviegoers at Movies on Tap, the possibilities for building community are endless.
22. Our venues have history!
The State Theatre has a storied legacy, including burning down twice! While other venues may not have quite as dramatic of a history, they sure do have the charm. You can learn more about them here.
21. We support students
One of our goals at TCFF is to expose a younger generation of filmgoers to the power of the cinematic arts and the theatrical experience. Through Student U (A brand new TCFF program), high school and college students can obtain FREE movie tickets to this year’s festival.
20. Free wheels!
This year TCFF will be partnering with the BATA Bayline to provide shuttle service to our venues. Now traveling both Eastbound and Westbound, the shuttle buses will arrive approximately every 15 minutes and will run Wednesday – Sunday from 7 am until the last filmgoers and volunteers are returned to their cars.
19. The local views
Dubbed “the epitome of ‘Pure Michigan'” on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Most Beautiful Towns in America” list, in Traverse City there is no shortage of beauty. Audience members should be sure to explore outside of the theaters to take it all in.
18. We have the hottest music!
From acoustic singer-songwriters to heavy metal bands, TCFF has it all when it comes to music. With live performances before screenings, on a bayfront music stage, and at parties, you’ll surely discover a new favorite artist during your time with us. While we haven’t released 2018’s official list yet, you can check out previous acts here!
17. Our reach exceeds Traverse City limits
Before the festival even begins, TCFF screens five movies in surrounding towns, sending attendees on a week long odyssey from Manistee to Harbor Springs. Movies Around the Bay provides an opportunity for festival attendees to see more of Northern Michigan, as well as free up their schedules by knocking a few films out early.
16. “Sold Out” doesn’t mean all hope is lost
We know that even when every ticket is sold for a screening, it does not mean that every seat will be filled. That’s why TCFF has developed the waste-not-want-not Standby Lines! If a show is listed as “Stand By Line Only,” a ticket line will form one hour before the start to make sure no seat goes unused.
15. You never know who you might run into
Over the last 14 years, TCFF has welcomed some pretty prestigious guests. Between Madonna and Kristen Bell, patrons of TCFF have enjoyed seeing these celebrities out and about at a festival they love.
14. You’ll know where your food comes from
TCFF is a Certified Local Food Event, meaning that at least 20% of the food served at our events is locally sourced. Last year we surpassed 40%! Dig in!
13. Our information is easy-access
English philosopher Francis Bacon first said “knowledge is power,” and we agree. From our website to Instagram to Facebook, we keep all our bases covered for your convenience. Be sure to subscribe to our enewsletter for the latest updates on all things TCFF!
12. You won’t have to take out student loans to join our film school
TCFF offers twice-daily film school sessions where visiting filmmakers and professionals share their insights and experiences. Film school tickets are $5 per class, with topics ranging from writing pilots to claymation. Check out the schedule here!
11. We love making Friends
It’s easy to become a Friend of the festival, a title that is not without benefits. On top of the knowledge that you are helping us bring great films and filmmakers to Traverse City while keeping the festival affordable, being a Friend of TCFF also gives you exclusive early ticketing access, party discounts, and Friends Only Screening Parties.
10. TCFF is family-friendly!
Kids under 12? No problem! Join us for Kids Fest, our free lawn party at Clinch Park with giant slides, face paint, and more, or at the $1 movies running Wednesday – Saturday at 9 am.
9. We even think of the tweens!
The tween years can be tumultuous, an awkward stage between kid and teenager. On the bright side, TCFF has a safe middleground for this specific age group. Join us at one of our select locations on August 1, 3, or 4 for some of the best films that may be suitable for PG and PG-13 audiences.
8. Supporting TCFF means giving back to the Traverse City community
If the city and local businesses are thriving, so are we!
7. We invite you to make your own mark
TCFF is invitation only, but every year we are open to unofficial submissions. We also host an annual bumper contest for cash prizes and a chance to screen your creation before festival feature presentations. Bottom line: if you made it, we’d love for you to cast it our way!
6. We’ll vouch for you!
Whether you still have a few holes in your TCFF schedule, or you’re trying to find the perfect gift for that nephew who’s always in a different “phase,” we’ve got you covered. One of our movie vouchers can be redeemed at our box office for a regularly-priced ticket to any movie that is not sold out. The best part? Our vouchers aren’t limited to the festival; they’re redeemable for up to two years after purchasing!
5. Parties, parties, parties!
Fun at the fest goes far beyond the movies. In addition to screenings and panels, TCFF throws six parties for filmmakers, film lovers, and everyone in between to mingle with live music and tasty local cuisines.
4. Our horizons are broad
The festival shows approximately 250 films each year in categories ranging from documentary and fiction, U.S. and Foreign, feature length and shorts. Whether you’re into comedy, drama, action, mysteries, or [insert category], there’s something for everyone at TCFF.
3. We encourage student filmmakers
Every year we showcase the work of student filmmakers from Michigan schools including MSU, U-M, and CMU.
2. We keep your budget in mind
From high-end dining to luxurious parties, we understand that fun-filled TC activities can rack up a bill, especially if you’re traveling. Luckily, TCFF has a multitude of free events to keep you from busting out the piggy bank: screenings at the Open Space, Panels, Movies on Tap, and the Closing Night Bash!
1. TCFF is run entirely by people who love what they do
Our organization is fueled by passion, not cash. Everything that happens at TCFF is made possible by volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to making the festival enjoyable for everyone. Interested in joining the ranks of the dedicated? Learn more here!