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.





Apr 9

FULL TIME (À Plein Temps)

Apr 16


Apr 23


Apr 30

UNE BELLE COURSE (Driving Madeleine)

May 7


May 14


May 21


May 28


Jun 4


Jun 11


Jun 18


Jun 25




Opening our TCFF TUESDAYS SPRING 2024 SEASON is the first great film of 2024: SELMA Director Ava DuVernay’s new masterpiece, ORIGIN. This feature film is not a documentary but rather a one-of-a-kind work of art — a searing exploration of how we got to where we’re at as a society. Starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (THE COLOR PURPLE), Niecy Nash (RENO 911!) and Jon Bernthal (THE WALKING DEAD), ORIGIN follows the journey of author Isabel Wilkerson as she digs deep to discover why humans on Earth have invented numerous caste systems based on race and class that keep a small group of people in charge and on top — while millions suffer on the bottom rungs of society’s ladder. This smart, compelling drama is filled with heroic characters and unforgettable scenes — like the one where Wilkerson discovers inside German archives how, after Hitler was elected, Nazi “academics“ went to America to figure out how the United States had so brilliantly succeeded in legally creating a “superior race” by segregating the “subhuman” Black portions of its population into ghettos with inferior schools, the lowest-paying jobs and wretched, inadequate housing — while making the lynching of these “animals” legal and, of course, suppressing their right to vote. And still get away with calling itself the “world’s greatest democracy!” Scene after scene like this will make you realize that this is a movie that hasn’t been made before. Powerful and profound, this film is hands-down one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years. Do not miss it!


2h 21m

Director: Ava DuVernay

April 16


Too often in Hollywood, films about single moms are told through the prism of the man that steps in to rescue them, or the children that grow up to succeed because (or in spite) of them. But leave it to the French to tell a story through one week in the life of the single mom herself — literally, sunup to sundown, day-after-day, in a RUN LOLA RUN full throttle sprint to survival. In FULL TIME we are thrust into the fast-paced, impeccably-timed world of Julie Roy — who squeezes every waking moment from her day to balance her roles as sole provider, protector and parent to her two children. While she has become adept at the juggle, she strives for something more. The only question is, when that opportunity arises, will she have time to grab it? Winner, Best Director, Best Actress, Venice Film Festival.

Director: Eric Gravel


1h 28m



I have the rare chance on this, the day of my 70th birthday, to share with you, my TC friends and neighbors, a stunning film from the year of my birth, 1954. It is the only film in our history to be banned by the U.S. government — for 11 years! — because of its dangerous message about American class and racism and its call for workers to stand up and fight their corporate masters. It was not until 1965 that this film was finally released in theaters. Then, in 1992, it was declared by the Library of Congress to be “one of the most important American films ever made.” SALT OF THE EARTH would now, by law, be legally protected and preserved forever. It’s the dramatic story of a small New Mexico town where the Mexican-American workers decide to go on strike against the mining company to end the deplorable working conditions and unequal pay between themselves and their white counterparts. It’s also the story of the miners’ wives and mothers and daughters, who courageously step out of their “place” (from behind the clothesline, from inside the kitchen, with their small children in tow) to join the men and, eventually, become the leaders of the fight.

SALT OF THE EARTH was denounced by the U.S. House of Representatives for its “communist sympathies,” and the FBI had the film’s lead actress Rosaura Revueltas deported to Mexico. The American Legion called for a nationwide boycott of the film. Out of the 10,000+ theaters in America at the time, only 12 theaters had the courage to screen it.

The notorious and dishonest film critic, Pauline Kael, panned it “as clear a piece of Communist propaganda as we have had in many years.”

But it took Bosely Crowther of the New York Times to realize in 1954 that the real power of the story in this film is the “bitter conflict within the union itself over the issue of whether the women should have equality of expression and of strike participation with the men… [This film is full of] considerable personal drama, raw emotion and power.” Its screenwriter, Michael Wilson, who was blacklisted for years after the release of SALT OF THE EARTH and was forced to work under a pseudonym, later won the Academy Award for writing Bridge on the River Kwai.

I’m proud to be able, on my birthday, to share this film with you, a film that, as you might have guessed, did not play the State Theatre in 1954.


1h 34m

Director: Herbert Biberman



This funny British film harkens us back to the Jimmy Stewart films of yore (think MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE), sticking up for the little guy and leaving the audience wanting to let out a big cheer. Based on the true story of Dave Fishwick, who opened his own savings and loan to help save his town of Burnley, England in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Starring Joel Fry (YESTERDAY), Phoebe Dynevor (BRIDGERTON) and Rory Kinnear (THE DIPLOMAT).

Director: Chris Foggin

United Kingdom

1h 47m


(Driving Madeleine)

It’s surprising how often we find ourselves in the company of others — riding in an elevator, strolling the aisles at Meijer, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office — without really noticing. Perhaps we’ll exchange pleasantries, but often we don’t, opting instead to complete the task at hand and stay in our own lanes. Paris taxi driver Charles, gives rides to dozens of strangers every day — without ever really seeing any of them. Struggling just to get by, his focus, understandably, is on getting as many “fares” from Point A to Point B as possible without getting any more traffic violations. That is, until he picks up 92-year-old Madeleine, who’s in no hurry to get where she’s going. She’s on what very well may be her last ride through Paris, as her destination is the nursing home where she will now live out the days of her life. So she leads Charles on a tour of the city to the places that have meaning to her — some happy, some harrowing. Imagine what she (and Paris) have seen in the 92 years since 1932. What secrets do she and the city still hold? Directed by Christian Carion (JOYEUX NOËL), UNE BELLE COURSE is a poignant reminder of the importance of human connection in an age when we’re all often too busy looking at our phones.


1h 31m

Director: Christian Carion

MAY 14


What do a Muslim Saudi-born immigrant of Ireland, a heavy-metal-loving Buddhist monk in Japan and a mostly-white, Up North audience in Traverse City, Michigan have in common? Turns out, probably a lot. This beautifully layered documentary proves that some of life’s struggles aren’t unique to any one particular race, creed, or gender — but are simply human.

Director: Ahsen Nadeem

USA / Ireland / Japan

1h 37m

MAY 21


Set in 1889, the inimitable Juliette Binoche stars as Eugenie, a renowned cook who serves as both a magician in the kitchen and muse to Dodin, the famous gourmet she has been working with for decades. This amazing movie by filmmaker Anh Hung Tran (NORWEGIAN WOOD) is made for romantics and foodies alike and will promise to leave you feeling full of love — and hungry for dinner. Amical, anyone?

France / Belgium

2h 15m

Director: Anh Hung Tran

MAY 28


IO CAPITANO is a Homeric odyssey following the journey of 16-year-old cousins, Seydou and Moussa, who sneak off in the middle of the night with only their small backpacks and the cash they’ve been secretly saving for months, leaving behind their families in Senegal in the hopes of finding a better life — and a better way to support their families — in Italy. Based on the emigration stories of real African refugees (who are also credited as co-writers of the screenplay), and helmed by Matteo Garrone (DOGMAN, GOMORRA), this incredible award-winning film was nominated for Best International Feature at this year’s Oscars.

Director: Matteo Garrone

Italy / Belgium / France

2h 1m



TCFF Tuesdays kicks off Pride Month with this FIGHT CLUB meets SUPERBAD hilarious and kick-ass film — that just so happens to be written, directed, shot and edited by women. Unpopular high school students PJ (Rachel Sennot) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri of THE BEAR) — besties since elementary school — have concocted the perfect plan to be noticed by popular cheerleaders Brittany & Isabel, because they know that once these beautiful goddesses notice them, they will undoubtedly fall in love and into bed with them. But like a lot of great plans, things, of course, go awry, quickly spiraling out-of-control — until they suddenly find themselves leading a girls-only self-defense “fight club” in this subversive and satirical teen joyride.


1h 31m

Director: Emma Seligman



It’s unfathomable to me that in the “richest” country in the world, having “a decent home” is now nothing but an aspiration (and a somewhat distant one at that) for many Americans. It is not, in any form, considered to be a given right for all citizens. And it’s heartbreaking how many young couples have told me they never expect to own their own home in their lifetime. So what exactly is the American Dream? What happened to even the idea of a “starter home”? I know what you’re thinking. Capitalism! But what if it’s even something more sinister than one of the “isms” that we all suffer from? As portrayed in this eye-popping documentary, greedy landowners across the country have set their sights on the last remaining source of affordable housing in this country — mobile home communities. A DECENT HOME might make you want to pick up an American flag, head out of the theater, and make your way to the nearest protest surrounding some beautiful waterfront properties, only to be met by a friendly local realtor who suggests, “Have you considered Kalkaska?” Or “Tents are still a good alternative!” Everyone reading this knows this brutal fact: The working class can no longer afford to live in Traverse City. Come to The State and let’s all watch this powerful film together. Afterward, if you wish, please stick around for an electrifying panel discussion, and free American flags.

Director: Sara Terry


1h 26m



It’s not uncommon for complete strangers to have the same dream — after all, how many of you reading this have had the same dream I’ve had, endlessly looking for parking on Front Street during the Cherry Fest? But what if millions of people all over the world started having wildly different dreams that all featured the same average-looking, middle-aged, balding white man? And what if that complete stranger in everyone’s dreams also happened to be a real person? That is exactly what happens in DREAM SCENARIO, and suddenly, biology professor Paul Matthews’ life explodes into chaos as he becomes a world-wide viral sensation. But in true Newton-ian fashion, what goes up, must come down in this black comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Julianne Nicholson.


1h 42m

Director: Kristoffer Borgli



Closing out the TCFF Spring 2024 Season is a back-to-back double bill of two thought-provoking films by the legendary German director Wim Wenders. That’s right, two brilliant films for the price of one!

First up is 2024 Oscar nominee for Best International Feature, PERFECT DAYS, starring acclaimed Japanese actor Koji Yakusho as Hirayama, a public toilet cleaner in Tokyo who strives to live simply amidst the chaos of the city. Hirayama doesn’t speak his first line of dialogue until 11 minutes into the movie, and in those 11 minutes we, too, are invited to slow down our own racing thoughts and join Hirayama in appreciating the tranquility of his daily routine. But a series of events interrupt his routine — including the appearance of his estranged teenage niece who’s run away from home — causing Hirayama to reflect on his life now, and wonder, is it enough?

Then, after a short break for the audience to grab a quick bite, we’ll head back into the theater and dive into ANSELM, Wim Wenders’ 2023 documentary about the life and work of one of the greatest contemporary artists of our time, Anselm Kiefer. Exquisitely shot, watching this film is like being transported into a living, breathing, piece of art. Beautifully cinematic, and utterly moving, we thought this would be a gorgeous way to end our Spring 2024 Season of our new Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF Tuesdays). Our summer season is right around the corner!

Created by: Wim Wenders

Japan / Germany

3h 37m


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


State theatre

Traverse City, MI

(231) 600-7272