Yesterday marked the fifth and final day of Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Now in its fifth year, TCFF may be Michigan’s premiere film culture event. As Larry Charles and Jeff Garlin point out in this YouTube video, when the big cities and big wigs of Los Angeles and New York meet the growing film communities in Austin, Palestine, and Michigan (all highlighted in this year’s festival), everyone is in for a unique experience. Toronto Film Festival programmer Thom Powers describes the scene in an article published in indieWIRE, “Indeed guests are treated to multiple demonstrations of Midwestern hospitality: packed houses, standing ovations, and warm encounters along the main thoroughfare of Front Street. The festival is well-served by several large venues, including the 530-seat State Theater that Moore has restored as a year-round movie palace, complete with a balcony, red velvet curtain, electric stars on the ceiling, and an organ played before screenings. The comfy green rooms are stocked with snacks in an abundance that indicates why the state is ranked as the second fattest in the country. ‘Everywhere I go [in Traverse City], people give me cherry pie,’ said Ben Steinbauer, another Austin director in town with his film ‘Winnebago Man.’ ‘I feel thin here.'”
Karina Longworth’s review of the festival on Spout blog, which features a complete list of the festival’s winners, also includes a description of the unique environment in Northern Michigan: “Outside of Moore’s shadow, Traverse City’s vibe as a festival is along the lines of Telluride and True/False – small town, secret screenings, celebrity/legendary filmmaker guests who blend in with the locals and lesser known attendees while giving each installment of the event a specific character – but with a dedicated emphasis on comedy.”
As the festival handed out special awards for Funniest Fiction Film and Best Comedy Documentary, “In the Loop” and “Winnebago Man,” respectively, Michael Moore and board member Jeff Garlin announced that they would bring a comedy festival to Traverse City.
As far as Mr. Moore’s new film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which is set to premiere in Venice, fans were treated to a new trailer, “that opens with him standing at the doors of AIG – a leading recipient of Washington’s bailout – and announcing through a loud speaker that he intends to make a citizen’s arrest,” as Thom Powers reports in the aforementioned indieWIRE article.
While the “Capitalism” trailer shown at the festival is waiting to be released to the Internet, check out the one that’s been floating around for a while now below: