Michael Moore is at it again. The moviemaker who is well known as one of the most opinionated people of our time is playing host to the Traverse City Film Festival, which he founded in his home state of Michigan. For Moore, the TCFF is about more than just publicly showing films.
“Saving the art of cinema is one of my main goals in life and the Traverse City Film Festival is a way to bring Oscar-quality films to people who want to see good movies, but might not otherwise be able to,” says Moore.
This year’s event, which runs from July 28 to August 2, will surely have film fans’ mouths watering. The fest opens with Troubled Water, a praised Norwegian drama, and closes with the delectable Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Festival-goers have the option to choose from 71 features and short films representing more than 30 countries and five continents. Films include: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Outrage, The Answer Man, The Greatest, Humpday and Sugar.
Also scheduled is a tribute to Paul Mazursky, with the legendary writer-director presenting and discussing his classic films, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Enemies: A Love Story and An Unmarried Woman. Other noteworthy events: Film Festival Board Member Larry Charles presents a one-time-only screening of outtakes from his controversial new movie Bruno, Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiam”) gives a sneak preview of a surprise title and comedian Patton Oswalt shows his much buzzed-about new movie Big Fan. Last but not least, Moore himself will host a special 20th anniversary screening of his debut film, Roger & Me. Special guests from the documentary will attend as well.
For a state like Michigan, where the recession has trampled it and its people, it is wonderful to have something like the TCFF to offer. In the past few years, this festival has brought more than $5 million and hundreds of thousands of people to Traverse City. The TCFF is bringing film festivals back to the way they used to be, where the atmosphere is pure and the focus is about the films, not the location. Traverse City does not have the sparkle and shine of Cannes or Sundance, so what’s left is only the celebration of the films themselves—nothing Moore.
Tickets for the festival go on sale July 18. To purchase tickets (and to view the entire schedule), go to http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org.