The Traverse City Film Festival is back. Held every year at the end of July, this annual event was created in 2005 to help “save one of America’s few indigenous art forms—the cinema.” The mission of this non-profit organization, co-founded by Oscar-winning film director Michael Moore, is to show great movies that represent excellence in filmmaking; in particular, independent films and documentaries that make you think. (Don’t miss his 2018 picks!)
At the center of it all are Traverse City’s arthouse movie theaters, The State and The Bijou, which combine world-class, state-of-the-art presentation with classic movie palace experiences. Beginning today, hordes of people will flock to our favorite hometown venues for the inspiring, sometimes challenging, stories they’ll find at the 14th annual TCFF.
Over the next five days, a much-anticipated curated list of feature films and shorts will be shown at our downtown theaters and throughout town at the community’s school auditoriums, theatrical houses, and even outdoors on a giant, inflatable screen along West Grand Traverse Bay. In addition, actress Jane Fonda has quickly become the talk of the town and will be honored this week with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Several screenings of her well-known flicks “Coming Home” and “Nine to Five” can be seen as part of the festival’s fantastic line-up.
Traverse City Film Festival not only makes an economic contribution in our area ($465 million since inception), but provides an opportunity for over 3,000 volunteers to connect with each other while giving back to the community they love. And as you might have guessed, the staff at VIKTOR has a hard time sitting on their hands when great things are happening around us. You’ll find the cinema lovers in our midst taking part through financial contributions, attending parties, and volunteering to take tickets and make popcorn. Even the kids are getting involved, through Claymation and gaming.
We love TCFF. We like that it showcases filmmaking to the public in a way they might not otherwise see. We like the gamut of subjects and how the films are enjoyed purely for the sake of art. We love that it’s all about the way they enrich the human spirit, and that it’s not about the bottom line. Being entertained and educated in exciting new ways isn’t too bad either. And we know we’re not alone when we’re left with the feeling that we’ve been moved to open our minds and hearts a little wider. Perhaps that’s why this festival is so successful.