Posts Tagged 'festival'

Greening the Traverse City Film Festival

In Traverse City Film Festival Goes Green, Jacque writes about something many of the festivals we cover grapple with, how to make their event greener. He begins:

I had an opportunity to sit down with Jessica Abfalter, 2010 TCFF Water Manager, and learned how she is helping Traverse City Film Festival reach their green goals. It was a chance meeting, in a local coffee shop, where Jessica was on the phone trying to secure compostable drinking cups for this years events (just one part of her plan). The issue was not finding the cups, but making sure that they arrive safely during one of the hottest summers that this Northern Michigan city has seen in while. The cups that the Traverse City Film Festival will be using begin to decompose, according to the suppliers website, at 110 degrees.

In an effort to put less waste in landfills, the Traverse City Film Festival will go green by ditching bottled water for filtered water with two choices for containers: Compostable cups & reusable sports bottles. The four venues for this green project include: The Traverse City State Theatre, Old Town Playhouse, City Opera House , and Lars Hockstad Auditorium.

Read on for a breakdown of the Traverse City Film Festival’s green effort! Also check out the nonprofit that will take all that recycling and keep the materials working for us, Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

Photo: Jessica Abfalter, TCFF Water Manager & Abbie Phillips, Co-Manager, show off this year’s green ideas.


That’s a Wrap: Day Three of the Comedy Festival

Dan Sultana from Motor City Blog made the trip up to the Traverse City Comedy Festival and got some great photos including the one above. Check out lots more in his Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival slideshow!

Festival blogger Beth Milligan has a nice wrapup of the Comedy Festival, where she notes:

When I was interviewing Jeff (Garlin) on Saturday, he dropped maybe the most exciting news about next year’s festival possible: “We’re going to start on Thursday and end on Saturday,” he announced. At the time, I didn’t actually realize this was exciting news, but by the end of yesterday, I was overjoyed at the prospect.

We’ve got all the blog posts, tweets and photos archived over at the 2010 Traverse City Comedy Festival page on Absolute Michigan. When they post some video, we’ll add that too!

Speaking of video, here’s the winner of the Comedy Shorts Competition, Wolverine’s Claws Suck by Lou & Greg (which beat out Wheelchair Werewolf). It’s rated gory for Wolverine claws and has some swearing (again, Wolverine claws):

onLocation: Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival

Event dynamo Michael Moore has teamed up with comedian Jeff Garlin to launch the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival. The inaugural comedy fest takes place this weekend (February 19-21, 2010) and features and impressive roster of established comedians including Roseanne Barr, John Waters, Whitney Cummings, JB Smoove, Mike Birbiglia along with some up-and-coming comedians, films and associated hoopla. View the schedule of comedians and special events & films and order tickets!

The venues that they use for the annual Traverse City Film Festival will be converted to have a nightclub feel and they’ll even be doing free, late night shows in the basement of Horizon Books hosted by Jeff Garlin. They’ll also be having a free, outdoor showing of the comedy classic Groundhog Day with special live features. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a one-of-a-kind experience for Michigan comedy fans!

You can follow blog posts, #comedytc Twitter posts and other media on the TCFF Blog and on Absolute Michigan’s Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival page.

Head over to Absolute Michigan’s Traverse City pages to get lodging, dining and other visitor information.

Larry Charles, Michael Moore, Jeff Garlin & others on the Traverse City Film Festival

Traverse City Film Festival co-founder Michael Moore, Director Larry Charles, Producer/ Actor Jeff Garlin and others give their thoughts on Traverse City, the state of Michigan and the Traverse City Film Festival in this video by Scott Allman Video.

Traverse City Film Festival Wrapup

Fifth annual event draws biggest attendance numbers ever

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (Aug. 3, 2009) — The Traverse City Film Festival marked its fifth anniversary year with record-setting admissions and turnouts for free nightly films on the waterfront, along with the announcement of a new Comedy Festival to kick off this winter. Continue reading ‘Traverse City Film Festival Wrapup’

Movie Review: Learning Gravity

by Cherie Spaulding

Editor’s Note: Learning Gravity won the Michigan Prize for best film about or shot in Michigan. Lynch is known for such literary works as The Undertaking. More about him at

Walking down Union Street before show time on Friday I wandered into a downtown antique store for a look at all of the recycled life looming in our town. Before long, I stumbled upon the tackle and tool section and found a treasure–an old fly fishing rod and reel. Silvery-blue, even with a matte finish it sparkled. I had been casually considering a fly rod purchase for some time, so it was a bit of a present to find such a stylish one and light–suitable for a beginner itching to liberate her waders from the unemployment line.

Tied in twine the metallic blue rod and I moseyed up the street to catch the film, Learning Gravity. Hearing the remarks that a woman and a fishing rod receive in the matter of a two block stretch was comical. Though lacking originality with the “catching anything?” inquiry, time and again, I appreciated the willingness of those passing by to acknowledge the absurdity even at the price of my own anonymity. Pleasantly pleased to think my fellow movie goers still had a pulse–still observed their surroundings and embraced the scene with a sense of humor. After all, what value does life have without connection?

Learning Gravity is a documentary film that explores the work of Thomas Lynch, an under-taker in Southern Michigan, who happens to also be a poet and essayist. Lynch descends from an under-taking family and shares the business with many of his relatives, much of his immediate family included. The first time I heard a Thomas Lynch poem, he was being interviewed on an N.P.R segment, five or six years ago. Wintertime had settled upon Traverse and I still recall it was a gray and lonely kind of day. In a strange and magnificent way, however, Lynch’s piece spoke to me, awakening a springtime of thought. Death is not exactly an uplifting topic for many, but I was grateful–in the dead of winter–to be considering the possibilities for rich contemplation in in the heart of a heavy storm.

Q&A for Thomas Lynch's Learning GravityQuiet contemplation is essentially what Lynch does best. Cathal Black directs the piece, and in his efforts he honors the solitary elements of Lynch’s journey–his quest to consider the value of human life beyond the scope of a last breath. Lynch reacquaints his audience with the cultural importance of honoring the dead, how the act and ceremony of funerals is an act of completing the cycle of the human experience. Of course, he acknowledges that our rituals not intended to aid the dead in their process. Instead, the living are served, supported in their journey through their waking lives. By honoring the dead we pay the greatest homage to life imaginable. Again, what value and meaning would our lives have without the guarantee of mortality?

Though I have seen other documentary pieces about Lynch and his family, in Learning Gravity, Black transforms the meaning of Lynch’s work to its visual form–a medium that is multi-sensory. By bringing Lynch’s poetry to life on the big screen, the film captures an audience beyond the typical scope of the work, and for a guitar-less poet, that is impressive. In Learning Gravity, Lynch’s contemplative work finds new life.

Photo Credits: The sun sets in TCXL by Dagmar Cunningham and Q&A for Thomas Lynch’s Learning Gravity by tcfilmfest (Thom Powers, Director Cathal Black and Thomas Lynch at the Q&A after Learning Gravity.)

On Location: Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival

In addition to being the week of the TC Film Festival in northern Michigan, this weekend also features the long-running Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival.

While we can’t be there, our good friends at the Glen Arbor Sun are. In addition to this video from the Ragbirds they have a nice interview with Josh Davis of Steppin In It.