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.



FALL 2023

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

OCT 03

Past Lives

OCT 10


OCT 17

Joan Baez I Am A Noise

OCT 24

When You Finish Saving The World

OCT 31

It Ain’t Over

NOV 07

Argentina, 1985

NOV 14

DR. Strangelove or: How I Learned to stop worrying and love The bomb

NOV 21

Polite Society

NOV 28

King Coal

DEC 05

Master Gardener

DEC 12


Dec 19



How to Blow Up
A Pipeline

One of the most provocative and intense dramas of the year, this powerfully-made film comes at a time when the planet is in environmental collapse and, in this movie, a group of young people decide to take matters into their own hands. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, so don’t miss this thrilling, tense, edge-of-your-seat masterpiece.

“Absolutely electric filmmaking!” – Paste Magazine



1h 44m

Director: Daniel Goldhaber
Cast: Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth


past lives

Already hailed as the top indie film of 2023 — and the critics are unanimous: “A triumph!” “Superb!” “Quietly devastating!” “A love story for the ages.” “Speaks with an honesty so affectingly crisp it will turn your conceptions of love, identity and fate on their head.” Critics from Vanity Fair, Variety and Screen Daily all give it a score of 100.

Director: Celine Song
Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo


south korea

1h 45m



In 1875, a Canadian, Alexander Graham Bell, invented the telephone. 130 years later, a group of Canadian misfits invented a new kind of phone. This is that rare film that has so expertly combines maddening comedy with clearly avoidable tragedy. Yes, this is the story of the BlackBerry, an invention whose meteoric rise was only matched by its quick and catastrophic fall. This is Canadian filmmaking at its best. A fast and furious ode to outcasts everywhere who dream big.

comedy, drama



Director: Matt Johnson
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson


Joan Baez
I Am A Noise

An intimate look at one of the greatest singers and activists in American history. Beginning in the late 1950s, she became a leading light in the folk music scene with her stunning voice and her generosity of spirit as she opened the door for others, most notably Bob Dylan. She marched with King, she rallied people against the Vietnam War, her husband was sent to prison for refusing to be drafted into the war. She is now 82 and this film is a beautiful look back at an amazing 65-year career.

Directors: Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle,
and Karen O’Connor

Featuring: Joan Baez, Bob Dylan



1h 53m


When You Finish Saving The World

*For tonight only, TCFF Tuesday will be held at the Bijou!*

In this, the directorial debut of actor Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), we meet the great Julianne Moore who plays a social worker running a shelter but feeling like she’s lost touch with her own teenage son (played by Finn Wolfhard from “Stranger Things”). Beautifully rendered, moving and often painfully embarrassing, mother and son cannot seem to find a way to get back on track. The final minutes of the film will not be eclipsed by anything else you see this year.



1h 28m

Director: Jesse Eisenberg
Cast: Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard


It Ain’t Over

A funny, insightful documentary on the life and times of Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. You don’t to have to appreciate baseball to fall for this portrait of a working class kid who butchered the English language, didn’t conform to the All-American myth of what a star of our national pastime should look like (and be like). With Yogi Berra and numerous baseball greats.

Director: Sean Mullin
Featuring: Yogi Berra, Billy Crystal



1h 39m


Argentina, 1985

Oscar-nominated this year for Best International Film, “Argentina, 1985” is a searing, tense drama about a team of investigators who are determined to uncover the crimes committed by the military junta which ruled Argentina (with support from the U.S.) as a dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s. A powerful drama about what happens when democracy is violently replaced with authoritarian rule.



2h 20m

Director: Santiago Mitre
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Peter Lanzani


DR. Strangelove or: How I Learned to stop worrying and love The bomb

Special 60th Anniversary Screening! A Newly Restored Print!

On Friday, November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated during the noon hour. In that very same hour, beginning on the east coast, a new film was unspooling for its first showings in numerous cities across the country. Its provocative political and satirical content was unlike anything ever seen in an American movie. Within minutes after the assassination, the executives at Columbia Pictures ordered every theater in the country to shut the movie down, to immediately stop showing this controversial film about the end of the world on this very sad day. Pull it down — NOW.

And thus the one-day run of “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” came to an abrupt end. They tried releasing it again three months later. It went on to become the greatest film satire of all time. And tonight, with a newly remastered 4K restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s eternal classic, we celebrate its 60th Anniversary!

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Slim Pickens



1h 35m


Polite Society

An uproarious and brilliant feature debut from British writer/director Nida Manzoor and Working Title Films, which over the years has brought us Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Dead Man Walking, Atonement, My Beautiful Laundrette, Love Actually, High Fidelity, Frost/Nixon, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice. “Polite Society” is a rollicking comedy about two sisters living in London’s Pakistani community.

Perhaps the best way to explain this is that it’s a wild ride of a movie. Think Jordan Peele’s GET OUT meets CROUCHING TIGER, meets ABBOTT AND COSTELLO’S Frankenstein meets the BRONTË Sisters who introduce JANE AUSTEN to the BOLLYWOOD version of BARBIE vs The Patriarchy. Got it? Can we handle a second feminist/comedy/horror/sisterhood movie directed by yet another woman in the same year?! Oh, hell yeah!

comedy, action

united kingdom

1h 44m

Director: Nida Manzoor
Cast: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya


King Coal

The end is near — and if you live in coal country you know it all too well because you’ve known this day was coming for a long time. Because King Coal has always been your Grim Reaper. This is not only the most beautifully-filmed movie of the year, it is also one of the most moving, one that will touch your heart in a way few documentaries ever have. It is part movie, part poetry, part eulogy-for-humanity — and for the home we have sullied and soiled to the point where we all now know what the end of our story will be.

This film is the creation of a genius, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, who grew up in Appalachia and shares her story and her soul with us without ever appearing once on camera. She is our guide through her sweet and knowing voice, full of despair — and her quiet demand that we at least try to save what is left. A movie the likes of which has never been experienced and must not be missed at this rare screening of it — on a majestic silver screen that very few towns like ours still have.

Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon



1h 20m


Master Gardener


An interesting word. An inciting word throughout our history. Master Race. Master of the Plantation.

But there’s also the master gardener, responsible for some of our most beautiful botanical gardens across the country. And this is the story of Narvel Roth, overseer of horticulture at Gracewood Gardens near Philadelphia. But not all is as it seems to be.

This is the latest movie from Grand Rapids native — and screenwriter of Martin Scorsese’s TAXI DRIVER — the great Paul Schrader. He knows all too well the evil that lurks in our neck of the woods (as we go to press, we are witnessing the trial in nearby Bellaire, MI, of those who sought to kidnap our Governor).

Master Gardener is gorgeous — until it isn’t. It’s about how seeds are spread and grow — for good or bad. One of Schrader’s best works. Starring Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver.



1h 51m

Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver



The closing night of our first season of TCFF TUESDAYS features one of the most important pieces of cinema made in the last few years. It is a remarkable and stunning anthology series produced by Apple — eight separate, loosely-connected but very different short stories set in and around the current collapse of Planet Earth. They are set over various years and in diverse locations between 2036 and 2070.

The planet is on fire, the smoke from forest fires blocks the sun making solar panels unusable. People are sick. Thousands of species have gone extinct. Miami is underwater. And the wealthy are still looking for ways to profit from disasters. Now, this may all sound depressing, but we believe this is perhaps the best dramatic rendering of an issue that others have found difficult to give life to. It is personal and real, not didactic or preachy, and it is filled with people who haven’t given up, even though you wouldn’t blame them if they did. We are going to show the first three stories because they are filled with such hope and rage and a relentless desire to survive. Trust us, there’s nothing like this on any of the streamers, not even in the theaters. A fresh way to deal with what seems to be the coming of the End Days. Starring Meryl Streep, Leslie Uggams, Sienna Miller, Edward Norton, Kit Harington and David Schwimmer. Joining us will be writer/director Scott Z. Burns and surprise guests.

Created by: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller, Kit Harington, David Schwimmer, Diane Lane



3 episodes


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


State theatre

Traverse City, MI

(231) 600-7272