Saturday, June 27, 2009

SERIES - “Upcoming Film Festivals”

Traverse City, Michigan

The Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) will turn five next month when it kicks off its annual celebration at the State Theatre, Tuesday, 28 July. It will run through Sunday, 2 August. Michael Moore reports he has watched over 300 movies in preparation for the programs.

The official program will be released 2 July, but here is a sneak preview. First, the legendary director Paul Mazursky and his family will be on hand for this year's TCFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Mazursky's filmography includes "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Moscow on the Hudson," "Harry and Tonto," "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Enemies: A Love Story," "An Unmarried Woman" and dozens of others. Mazursky will appear at screenings of three of his films and will speak on a panel as well.

TCFF Kids Fest will present award-winning independent children's films from around the world at 9:30 am Wednesday through Saturday of festival week at the State Theatre. Tickets will be reduced in price to $6 for these films, made for kids, which most young people never get the chance to see.

This year, the Festival is launching the TCFF Film School to offer students of all ages a chance to learn about the art of making movies. Five master classes will be taught for three hours each day of the festival from Tuesday through Saturday. This mini film camp will create an opportunity to meet with a different visiting filmmaker each day who will teach the craft of cinema to those interested.

Low-cost licensed child care, which I have never seen at film festivals, will be available Wednesday through Sunday.Interested parents should visit for more information, to offer comments, or make reservations.

This is only one of the services TCFF is offering this year to help everyone enjoy the festival despite the economic downturn that has hit Michigan exceptionally hard. They are holding ticket prices at the same price as last year, screening free movies outdoors each night, and foregoing some of the lavishness at parties.

Tickets to regular movies are $9. Opening and closing night films are $25, with opening and closing night parties ticketed separately at $50. Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival get half off opening and closing night party tickets, according to their benefit level. Tickets are available in advance and during the festival.

All tickets go on sale at the Front Street Cybercafe box office to Friends of the Film Festival on Sunday,12 July, 12 noon on a walk-up basis only. At 6 p.m. that day, Friends may also begin purchasing tickets by phone and online. Public ticket sales begin Saturday, 18 July.

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