The Perfect Week for YOU!

Whether you love to laugh, want to reminisce about days gone by, want to be inspired to change the world, looking for thrills, or are looking to celebrate the awesome women of the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival and beyond, we have the perfect program for you.

The Perfect Four Days for the Adventure Seeker

Do you love a good adventure? Love to get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping? Love yourself a good thrill? Then this is the TCFF XII schedule for you!


The Woz at The Buzz12 noon – 9 pm: Head over to The Woz at Hotel Indigo to check out some great virtual reality and games, and explore the future of storytelling in an interactive environment. We recommend “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” where you and your team of friends work together to defuse a bomb — a virtual one, of course — all free.

Refuel with a cup at Higher Grounds Coffee in the Grand Traverse Commons and sip your beverage of choice while exploring the beautiful grounds and trails around the area.

3:30 pm: Watch a subversive, slyly political, utterly unbelievable and very funny docudrama – an account of a Guantanamo prisoner set to be extradited from the US to Switzerland in Confusion” at The Buzz. For free! 

7 pm: Head to Movies on Tap at the Little Fleet and talk with our volunteers, audiences, and visiting filmmakers to share stories about your day at the festival.

12 midnight: Relive all the thrill of sneaking out at night with Shorts: Breaking Curfew at the State Theatre.

Get up nice and early and head over to McLain Cycle and Fitness. Rent a bike, get out there, and explore TC. Don’t forget to park your bike at Norte’s bike valet in front of the Bijou!   

12 noon: Learn about something new and head over to NMC’s Scholars Hall and give Acting For the Camera 5.0 a try at our Film School.

3 pm: Witness the visual memoir collage that raises complicated questions about the nature and ethics of documentary filmmaking in “Cameraperson” at the Bijou by the Bay. Check out the Cinema Salon discussion after the show with director Kirsten Johnson.

Dinner: Head to the Franklin for dinner and drinks (try the AMAZING Olivia de Havilland cocktail).

3 pm: Take a culinary adventure with a legendary rule-breaker, “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” at the City Opera House.

7 pm: Ride the elevator to the top of the historic Park Place Hotel for drinks at the Top of the Park. With a great view of downtown Traverse City and even better cocktails, it can’t be beat.

Dusk: Travel to distant lands with the visually stunning blockbuster sequel to one of cinema’s most beloved franchises. Bring a blanket and catch Jurassic World at the Open Space.

Sunday  14791092522_963a5fb83f_m
12 noon: Get out of the classroom and set sail on the Inland Seas with Michigan filmmaker Rich Brauer for the Dos and Do Knots of filming in challenging environments. 

3 pm: Buy a ticket to our 3 pm show and head to the Dennos Museum (free for all filmgoers with a TCFF ticket from July 27 – 31) to explore “Unwoven Light,” the museums latest must-see instillation. Then walk to Milliken Auditorium inside the Dennos Museum to get an inside look at an amazing Chinese activist in the triumph of guerrilla journalism, Hooligan Sparrow.

7 pm: A different kind of adventure, but an adventure nonetheless — witness throngs of families and children descending on the Open Space for the TCFF Closing Night Bash in anticipation of the evening screening of “Frozen.” With live music, interactive games, an icy photo booth and more, it’s a thrill not to be missed. 


The Perfect  Three Days for a Bad A** Female

Are you a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man/woman/or gender neutral individual? Do you like to celebrate your fellow females bad ass-ery while simultaneously feeling empowered yourself? Then this is the perfect TCFF schedule for you!

Thursday GT PIE
Breakfast: Treat yo’ self and get a yummy pastry at Grand Traverse Pie Company. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

12 noon: Women can do anything men can do. Except make equal wages, be frequent victims of workplace harassment, and have an exclusive say in their own reproductive rights. Delve into the issue with “Equal Means Equal” at the Bijou followed by a special cinema salon with director Kamala Lopez.

6 pm: Females are the true wolves of Wall Street in the highly anticipated “Equity,” directed, written, and produced by women at the Lars Hockstad Auditorium. 

9 pm: Witness history in the making at the Hillary Clinton Presidential Acceptance Speech at The Buzz. 

9:30 am: Head out to the Who Let the Women In? film panel at the City Opera House and featuring visiting female filmmakers.

Lunch: Enjoy libations and delicious goodies on the patio of Amical, a few doors down from the State Theatre.

6 pm: One woman’s unbelievable story of love and survival, watch the great foreign selection 3000 Nights at the Bijou by the Bay.

Dusk: See a free screening of Shrek at the Open Space! This year all of the films at the Open Space are written and/or directed by women. 

Head downtown on Front Street a bit early to get some shopping in, and don’t forget to stop by Cherry Republic for some cherry salsa and wine AND FREE SAMPLES!

12 noon: Watch the latest masterpiece from Kelly Reichardt, one of America’s most talented female auteurs. From the writer and director of “Old Joy” and “Wendy and Lucy” comes “Certain Women” at the City Opera House.

6 pm:  What’s the cost of upgrading to the newest iPhone every year? Discover the heartbreaking truth in”Death by Design” at The Buzz (for free).

12 midnight: Our bad ass heroine survives the zombie apocalypse during “Here Alone” at the State Theatre.

The Perfect Weekday for the Nostalgic Person

Celebrate the State Theatre’s Centennial,  100 glorious years of moviegoing on Front Street! The Traverse City Film Festival is throwing it back with classic movies and film anniversary screenings that’ll make you long for days gone by. 

Wednesday 19554144273_51a8a14552_m
Lunch: Head to Trattoria Stella in the Grand Traverse Commons and be transported back in time by the beautiful architecture and rich history of the Traverse City State Hospital. Enjoying some of the best food in town is an additional perk.

3 pm: Watch the “Citizen Kane” 75th Anniversary screening at the State Theatre with a special guest: Orson Welles’ daughter, Beatrice Welles.

6 pm: Frank Capra’s “Meet John Doe” 75th Anniversary screening at The Buzz is a classic that you can see for FREE!

12 midnight: Join us as one of our favorite comedians comments on the hilarious reefer madness-style throwback, “Benson Movie Interruption: Kisses for My President” at the State Theatre.

Thursday  MOOMERS
9:30 am: Relive history, again, and again, and again, with the Men Making Movies– The Struggle Continues panel at the City Opera House, where the “difficulty” of  white men bringing films to the big screen is discussed. 

12 noon: Watch a tale that blends five Shakespeare plays into an epic storytelling experience with “Chimes at Midnight” at The Buzz (free!) with Beatrice Welles in person.

Take a break and grab some Moomers ice cream. Be in awe of how much you would have liked it as a kid, while loving it just as much as an adult. 

Dusk: The very best of the Katherine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy films, “Adam’s Rib” at the Open Space is a can’t miss.

Friday View More:
9 am: Part powerful allegorical drama, part historic curiosity, part trippy triumph: check out “Civilization” 100th Anniversary screening at Dutmers Theater for an experience you won’t soon forget. 

12 noon: Get prepared for the Rio Games and witness the heartbreaking history of the Olympics with “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” at the Old Town Playhouse.

7 pm: Enjoy some delicious old fashioned cocktails while you talk to fellow filmmakers and filmgoers at Movies on Tap at the great downtown joint The Parlor.

9 pm: Reflect back on the glory days of television with “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” at the City Opera House.

The Perfect Three Days for the the Social Activist

Interested in saving the world? Do you stay up-to-date on the goings-on around the globe? Do you dream of one day helping others and bringing injustice to light? Then this is the perfect schedule for you!

Wednesday HARVEST
9:30 am: Come to the Doc Side at the City Opera House is a great panel to start your day. Learn from documentary guru and TCFF founder Michael Moore about nonfiction filmmaking and how to bring important social issues to the big screen.

Lunch: Get a delicious, exotic, local lunch at the one and only Harvest.

3 pm: Explore the ridiculous laws restricting abortion access in the US that are covered in “Trapped” at Milliken Auditorium in the Dennos Museum.

6 pm: The City Opera House puts women in the spotlight as “Equal Means Equal” discusses equality.

9 am: You’ll never look at technology the same after watching legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog’s “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” at the Bijou By the Bay.

12 noon: Follow ordinary citizens in Kinshassa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in “Elephant’s Dream” at Dutmers Theater.

3 pm: A heartbreaking look at the relationship between the police and public is explored in “Do Not Resist” at the Old Town Playhouse.

Dinner: Grab a mouth watering meal and sit out on the street side seating at Georgina’s, right across from the State Theatre.

Get up nice and early and take a relaxing yoga class with Yen Yoga to start your day off right!

12 noon: If you haven’t seen it yet, or if you can’t get enough, watch our founder Michael Moore’s latest documentary masterpiece, “Where to Invade Next: Worldwide Event” at the State Theatre.

6:30 pm: Get an inside look at an amazing Chinese activist in this marvel of guerrilla journalism, “Hooligan Sparrow” — for free — at the Buzz.

9 pm: In a sharply researched look at the deadly disease, cancer is explored in “The C Word,” directed Meghan O’Hara who will appear in person to discuss the film. Catch it at Milliken Auditorium.


The Perfect Two Days for Those Who Love the Strange and Bizarre

Normal is boring. Do you love films that ooze strange, promote the unexplainable, and are confusing, yet artistic? Love to watch avant garde films and find yourself saying “the weirder the better?” Then this is the perfect schedule for you!

MORSELSBreakfast: Head to Morsels and get a bite-sized sweet treat and a coffee to start your day off right.

12 pm: Love, loss, and the powerful bond between humans and our canine companions are the central themes of “Heart of a Dog” at Dutmers.

3 pm: Prepare to be mesmerized by a program that makes the familiar unfamiliar and the familiar revealed. “Shorts: Strange Planet” screening at Dutmers is the program for the bold.

12 midnight: Watch the “Benson Movie Interruption: A Donald Trump Favorite – Bloodsport.” Not only do you get to see a ridiculously violent and strange film, you also get live, witty, and hilarious commentary from one of the Traverse City Film Festival’s favorite comedians, Doug Benson and his equally funny buddies!


INSIDE OUT12 pm: Watch experimental movies from one of Michigan’s best festivals with “Shorts: Animated at the Ann Arbor Film Festival” at Dutmers.

Head to the Inside Out Gallery to see some seriously funky artwork and don’t forget to grab a drink while you’re there!

3 pm: Microwaving your bras in lieu of doing laundry is sadly something most of us can relate to, so come watch the quirky “Adult Life Skills” at the Old Town Playhouse.

9 pm: “The Brand New Testament” at the State Theatre is a film unlike any other. For both the philosophically inclined and the slapstick fans, you won’t regret taking a chance on one of the festival’s most unique movies.


The Perfect Four Days for Those Who Love to Laugh 

Do you love LOLz? Think that walking out of a theatre with your sides aching from so much giggling is a sign of a great viewing experience? Then this is the perfect TCFF XII schedule for you!

Wednesday7 MONKS
9 am: Trust us on this one: “Welcome to Norway!” at the State Theatre is sure to be a breakout hit of the festival. Heartwarming and ironically titled, you won’t want to miss the movie that everyone will be talking about.

Lunch: Head to 7 Monks Taproom and enjoy some brews and and great food offerings that are perfect to share with friends.

6 pm: If you’re interested in flawlessly funny performances with an all-star cast, then “Maggie’s Plan” at Lars Hockstad is the movie for you.

Dusk: Party time! Excellent! Stop what you’re doing and go see “Wayne’s World” at the Open Space for free.

Thursday  U & I
9 am: Notable Jewish comedians including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Rob Reiner talk about their craft in “The Last Laugh” at the Old Town Playhouse.

Lunch: Stop by a tried-and-true Traverse City dive for tasty food and cheap drinks at the U & I Lounge.

6 pm: How could there be a documentary called “Weiner” about the disgraced former Congressman at the State Theatre? It’s almost too easy. Grab a ticket and some popcorn, stick around, and have a great time sharing laughs with the audience.

9 pm: “The Pistol Shrimps,” a festival favorite, features “Parks and Recreation’s” Aubrey Plaza in a very, very, very funny  and sweet documentary showing at the City Opera House.

9 am: It’s a love story from Sweden, and sure to be one of the festival’s most popular comedies: don’t miss “A Man Called Ove” at the State Theatre.

3 pm: We’ve all been there. Take a look at our program “Shorts: It’s Complicated” at the Old Town Playhouse for a program on relationships that will make you laugh — and cry — out loud.


6 pm: Charming, eccentric, star-studded, and bound to be good for laughs, “My Blind Brother” at Lars Hockstad will satisfy all of your comedic needs.

Dinner: Head over to Little Bohemia for some delicious dishes that will want to make you lick the plate.

9:30 am: Check out The Comedy Panel at the City Opera House that features directors Logan Kibbens (“Operator”), Timothy Busfield (“One Smart Fellow”), and Jeff Grace (“Folk Hero & Funny Guy”), as well as comedians Doug Benson and Geoff Tate who offer insight on the funny business behind comedy.

12 noon: Director Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar,” TCFF 2012) brings us a breezy farcical yet sincere French-Canadian political comedy that is a balm for this absurdly serious US election year. Catch “My Internship in Canada” at the State Theatre.

9 pm: End the night at the Old Town Playhouse with “Folk Hero & Funny Guy,” where everyone knows that the best-laid plans often go awry—especially when they involve stand-up comedy careers.