by Edwin L. Carpenter - Associate Editor, The Dove
Editors Note: Many of the films referenced in this article have not
received Dove’s “Family-Approved” Seal. We are in no way encouraging people to
see these films.
Michael Moore was deeply involved in the recent second annual Traverse City
Film Festival. The festival included such diverse films as “Stanley Kubrick: A
Life in Pictures,” to “Son of Man,” a modern film set in Southern Africa. The
films ranged in time periods from 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,” to 2006’s “Scoop.”
Moore spoke from the State Theatre in Traverse City where he announced the
festival might run over a period of two weekends next summer.
Moore introduced the film “L’America,” and he answered questions for
approximately ten minutes beforehand. The Dove Foundation was on hand to hear
from the man who has brought this hugely popular film festival to Michigan.
As he bounded toward the microphone someone yelled out, “How ya doing?” “I’ve
lost ten pounds!” he said and he was greeted with cheers and applause. Moore
comes across as a funny but intelligent man, and he took the time to thank the
Traverse City Fire Department, which had helped out in dealing with the large
numbers of people attending the theatre.
Moore, famous for his documentary films such as “Roger and Me,” and “Bowling
for Columbine,” as well as the controversial “Farenheit 9/11,” is not resting on
his laurels. “My next film will be called ‘Sicko’ and it’s a comedy about the
health care system,” he said, and the audience cheered once more. He broke up
the audience again as he mentioned that the film, another documentary, “will be
in color and in English.” A lot of the films at the festival were black and
white and NOT in English. Films such as the modern gospel story “Son of Man,”
When Moore mentioned there had been discussions about going back to the
format of the first festival, which ran over a period of four days, the comment
was greeted with groans. His comment that the festival might run over a period
of two weekends was met with clapping. He added that another auditorium might be
made available next year for the various screenings. There were three theatres
and an open space used for the screenings this year. The State Theatre, the City
Opera House, and the Old Town Playhouse were the theatres used to host the
various movies at the film festival.
The tentative date for the third annual Traverse City Film Festival is July
27 and lasting to August 5, 2007. Moore plans for it to be a ten-day event.
“We’ll talk about it,” he said, and then added, “No talking really, because I
plan to control everything!” When he was asked if he planned to enlarge the
boundary of where the films are shown, he said, “Yes, we might even expand it as
far north as Petoskey!” Most people there recognized this as Moore’s humor
kicking in once more and laughter filled the theatre again. “Right now we like
the small town, home town feel of this and we want you to be able to walk to all
of the movies and park your car for the day.” More cheers and clapping erupted
as the audience seemed to very much embrace this characteristic of the film
It was pointed out by one audience member that some of the film discussion
panels take place during the times of the morning films and she asked if this
could be changed. “Yes, we have decided to change the time to 7 am!” Moore
joked. He then seriously said that the panel discussions might be changed to 11
am so people who watch late films the night before have more time to rest the
following morning. “Even though we schedule some of the movies at the same time
as the panels, you’ll have other chances to see those movies as we expand them
by extra venues for an extra day or two.”
In fact, several of the films which screened at this year’s festival were
available to view twice at different times and on different days. Included in
this lot was “Son of Man,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Moore gladly offered a few titles of films which he recommended for others to
see which opened this year, films which he liked himself. “V for Vendetta,”
“Flight 93,” and every film that’s in this film festival!” he said.
Speaking of films he likes, Moore added that it is his goal to get copies of the
films which are shown at the festival into public libraries.
He was publicly thanked for creating the Traverse City Film Festival, and he
said he was pleased to bring films he had enjoyed to the festival for others to
be able to see. He said he has always enjoyed going to the movies and his
favorite film is “A Clockwork Orange,” which screened at the festival.
Set against the beautiful background of Traverse City, the film festival
seems to have ingrained itself in the public eye and the community. People who
wish to become “friends” of the festival can donate as little as $25 to the
festival and will be allowed to purchase tickets to next year’s festival a full
week early. The website is found at
The Dove Foundation’s newest Board member, Rich Brauer, is also on the
Board of the Traverse City Film Festival. Dove is currently working with Mr.
Brauer on the possibility of adding a family category or Dove Family-Approved
category to the Traverse City Film Festival. We will keep you posted on the
progress as it develops.