Welcome to the new era of the Traverse City Film Festival, founded and curated by Oscar-winner Michael Moore. 52 great movies in 52 weeks! A year-round festival of powerful, subversive, indie masterpieces made with the belief that cinema can save the world — and that one great movie can change your life.

SEASON 4

SCHEDULE

Summer

JULY

OUTSTANDING ARTHOUSE

GHOSTLIGHT

July 9

THELMA

July 16

NO OTHER LAND

July 23

UNION

July 30

AUGUST

It’s the month of the LOST GEMS — the OVERLOOKED, the UNDERAPPRECIATED, the FORGOTTEN, and the CENSORED — from over 100 years of cinema!

DODSWORTH (1936)

August 6

EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987)

August 13

1984 (1954)

August 20

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (2022)

August 27

SEPTEMBER

DEMOCRACY ON FILM
“See It Before It’s Gone!”

 PLEASE VOTE FOR ME (2007)

September 3

DICK (1999)

September 10

THE CANDIDATE (1972)

September 17

SLAY THE DRAGON (2019)

September 24

FILM GUIDE

JULY

OUTSTANDING ARTHOUSE

OPENING NIGHT!
JULY 9

GHOSTLIGHT

In every theater in the world, when the play is over each night and the audience is gone, one solitary floor lamp in the center of the empty stage holds a single incandescent bulb that has been left on to help the mythical ghost that resides in every theater find its way. It’s called a “ghostlight.” In this compelling drama, a lost family finds their way out of their grief through, of all places, a crappy community production of Romeo & Juliet — proving that in the darkest of moments, art remains a guiding light and a force to heal. A huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “This may be the most emotionally powerful film I’ve seen this year.” (Michael Moore)

Comedy / Drama

1h 50m

Directors: Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson

JULY 16

THELMA

Great popcorn action flicks are synonymous with summer. Keeping with this time-honored American tradition, this summer the TCFF Tuesdays team brings you the next American action superstar: June Squibb. At 94-years-old this acclaimed veteran actress plays the titular Thelma who embarks on a mission to find the people who scammed her out of $10,000. But underneath the action and thrills, THELMA, at its core, is a poignant film about life’s twilight years. Co-starring Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, in his final film role, and indie darling Parker Posey.

Dir. Josh Margolin
Starring: June Squibb, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey

Comedy / Action

1h 37m

JULY 23

NO OTHER LAND

Following the announcement from the stage on Awards Night that this powerful film had won the Top Documentary Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, two of its co-directors, Basel Adra (a Palestinian from the Occupied West Bank ) and Yuval Abraham (an Israeli citizen) accepted the prestigious award – and Yuval gave a powerful speech that went viral around the world: “In two days, we will go back to a land where we are not equal. I am living under a civilian law, and Basel is under military law. We live 30 minutes from one another, but I have voting rights, and Basel has none. I am free to move where I want in this land. Basel is, like millions of Palestinians, locked in the Occupied West Bank. This situation of apartheid between us, this inequality, it has to end.” By the next morning, Yuval was receiving death threats. Don’t miss your chance to see this incredible, incendiary brave work of art created by a Palestinian-Israeli collective before October 7th, documenting the demolition of Palestinian villages by Israeli soldiers — and the Palestinian activists and Israeli journalists who join together to try and stop the destruction.

Documentary

1h 35m

Directors: Yuval Abraham, Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal

JULY 30

UNION

We end our month of Outstanding Arthouse Cinema with Sundance Award Winner UNION — a documentary that followed warehouse workers on Staten Island for a year as they rallied their coworkers to stand up to their behemoth employer, Amazon, and fight for a better future. A rare documentary that is not about true crime, celebrity, gourmet food, rock-climbing, or some historical incident from the distant past. It’s the kind of non-fiction film that seeks to have an immediate impact on the here and now, and we are honored to show it in the state where the labor movement got its start in Flint and Detroit.

Directors: Stephen Maing and Brett Story

Documentary

1h 40m

AUGUST

It’s the month of the LOST GEMS — the OVERLOOKED, the UNDERAPPRECIATED, the FORGOTTEN, and the CENSORED — from over 100 years of cinema!

AUGUST 6

DODSWORTH

A marvelous classic from the 1930s starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Mary Astor and David Niven. This was a time when movie censors in Hollywood (and in D.C.) reigned. Based on the novel, Dodsworth, by Sinclair Lewis (Nobel Prize-winning author of Main Street), one can only imagine what the director, William Wyler (Roman Holiday), had to go through at that time to get a film made dealing not only with the subject of divorce, but with a script that suggested divorce was not a social failing, but perhaps, simply, a good idea. Despite consistently appearing on the “Top Ten Films of All-Time” lists by the filmmakers who make our great movies, DODSWORTH, in the public consciousness, appears to be long forgotten. And yet few films from 1936 crackle and spark like this one!

Drama

1h 41m

Dir. William Wyler

AUGUST 13

EMPIRE OF THE SUN

A mostly forgotten masterpiece by the master himself, Steven Spielberg. I don’t need to tell you that when you think of Steven Spielberg’s long and acclaimed filmography, this movie does not instantly come to mind. It should. And after you watch it on August 13th, it will.

A 13-year-old Christian Bale and the great John Malkovich star in this epic tale of loss and innocence set in Japanese-occupied China during World War II. The film is sumptuous, revelatory, and an ode to the will of survival — not just for one’s self, but for humanity itself to be the clarion call and the answer to what we do when faced with the brutality of fascism. A beautiful film.

Dir. Steven Spielberg

Drama

2h 33m

AUGUST 20

1984

In 1954, just five years after Orwell wrote the book, the BBC, in spite of the controversy that was sure to follow, decided to make the first film version of this iconic opus. Filmed on a TV soundstage with some of Britain’s great, young actors, it has the look and feel that this was shot in the very dystopian future Orwell imagined. Never before seen in the U.S., this is a rare find from the British Film Institute archives. We are proud to present this historic classic to our TCFF audience as part of our year-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of incredible films from the year 1954.

Drama

1h 53m

Dir. Rudolph Cartier

AUGUST 27

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS

Nominated for three Oscars, this unique, and somewhat stunning satire, was virtually overlooked by the American audience. Talk about a forgotten film, this movie is only 2 years old! It’s one of the questions we want to pose in this Lost Gems month: Why are certain – many would say brilliant – films in this current era so quickly disposed of before the public has its chance to make up their own minds? One of our missions with the State Theatre and our film festival has always been to see that this happens less and less. On this day, we invite you to join us in discovering what’s been swept under the rug, and to save this movie from an already semi-organized obscurity.

Dir. Ruben Östlund

Comedy / Drama

2h 27m

SEPTEMBER

DEMOCRACY ON FILM
“See It Before It’s Gone!”

SEPTEMBER 3

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME

While China may be a dictatorship, for some reason they are teaching all of their 3rd graders the importance of elections, and how to run a campaign. This documentary follows one such campaign of a classroom of 8-year-olds who somehow learn that the best way to get elected is to follow what American politicians do to win (i.e., attack their opponents, spread ‘alternate facts’ — and conjure up a juicy 3rd-grade scandal).

Documentary

58m

Dir. Weijun Chen

SEPTEMBER 10

DICK


Before there was Trump, there was Dick. A nostalgic look back to an era when presidential criminals only conducted petty break-ins.

DICK suggests that the infamous Watergate informant known as “Deep Throat” was, in fact, high school besties Betsy & Arlene who — while sneaking out of Arlene’s Watergate apartment on the night of June 17, 1972, to mail a love letter to Bobby Sherman — inadvertently stumbled across the burglars at the DNC HQ, setting off a chain of events that led to the downfall of Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon. Starring Kirsten Dunst & Michelle Williams, along with Will Ferrell (as Bob Woodward), Dan Hedaya, Harry Shearer, Ryan Reynolds — and more!

Dir. Andrew Fleming
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Will Ferrell, Dan Hedaya

Comedy

1h 34m

SEPTEMBER 17

THE CANDIDATE

Robert Redford is a tour de force as Bill McKay, the son of a former and powerful California governor (Melvyn Douglas). A political consultant (Peter Boyle) convinces a reluctant McKay to make use of his family’s name to run for the U.S. Senate. McKay has spent his young life fighting for liberal causes which guarantees he has little chance of winning. But with his good looks and oratory skills, he begins to catch on — and realizes that he might actually have a chance of winning… if he tones down his lefty rhetoric and tries to appeal more to the “middle.” He quickly learns that, in politics, selling one’s soul is not so hard after all.

Drama

1h 50m

Dir. Michael Ritchie
Starring: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle

SEPTEMBER 24

SLAY THE DRAGON 

The state of Michigan had seen enough of the damage that gerrymandering does to democracy. How is it, some wondered, that if the majority of all the state’s voters vote Democratic, why are two-thirds of the state’s elected members of Congress Republicans? In 2018, a 26-year-old wrote one night on her Facebook page that she would like to end this corrupt way of drawing district maps that guarantee the majority’s voice from Michigan is not represented in Congress. Immediately, thousands who saw her Facebook post signed up and joined her in what would become a historic campaign to change the state’s Constitution. In doing so, this movement became an inspiration across the nation. And this documentary proves that, sometimes, art can make a serious difference.

Directors: Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman

Documentary

1h 41m

TICKETS

Single: $10
Student: $6
Season Pass
(12 films)
$59
Student Season Pass
(12 films)
$48

VENUE

State theatre

Traverse City, MI

(231) 600-7272

stateandbijou.org