Traverse City Film Festival 2011 Lineup

Drive-In

The Blob 1996 | USA | PG-13 | 113 min.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no! It’s a giant-amoeba-like blob! An alien life form, seemingly made of goo, crash-lands on earth and terrorizes a small town in this tongue-in-cheek drive-in favorite. Steve McQueen, in his first starring role, plays a local teenager who tries to stop the Blob and its path of human consumption and exponential growth before it’s too late. Although the Blob is one of the more improbable candidates for a great Hollywood monster, it comes complete with its own uproarious theme song “Beware of the Blob” as performed by The Five Blobs. This campy cult classic is pure unadulterated fun and a veritable time capsule of Cold War era sci-fi. Sponsored by Turtle Creek Resort & Casino. Monday at sunset @ casino

Check out Traverse Magazine’s special section: MyNorth Filmgoer for more info on the upcoming Traverse City Film Festival.

Opening Night

Made in Dagenham

2010 | UK | R | 113 min.

When the women of the Dagenham Ford Motor plant are reclassified as unskilled laborers and discover they are paid only a fraction of what their male counterparts earn, they stand up to misogynistic corporate bosses, a stubborn and unsupportive community, and eventually the national government. Based on the true story of the events that were the impetus for the British Equal Pay Act (legislation that would impact labor laws worldwide), this uplifting social drama gives new meaning to the term “girl power.” Bob Hoskins co-stars as a supportive union rep. In person: The Real Women of Dagenham TUES 6 p.m. STA | TUES 10 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

Even the Rain

2010 | Spain | NR | 104 min.

In this film within a film, a penny-pinching film producer plans to stage a new production near the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, as a stand-in for a Caribbean isle, on the basis that the indigenous population will work as cheap extras. But their arrival in Bolivia heralds a real moment in local history, at a time when the townspeople are primed for an uprising against the privatization of clean water. The razor-sharp satire and ample irony of “Even the Rain” will leave you thirsty for more. One of the best films of the year. In person from Cochabamba: Marcela Olivera TUES 6 p.m. COH | TUES 10:30 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Closing Night

Modern Times

1936 | USA | G | 87 min.

We close our annual festival with Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece, 75 years old this year, a film that is the very definition of Just Great Movies. It delights and illuminates as much now as it did back when. Chaplin’s comedic critique of capitalism and the dehumanizing nature of technology, co-starring Paulette Goddard as his love interest, is the perfect ending to our annual celebration of movies, and our salute to the working people who make this country what it is. SUN 6 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Free Movies in the Open Space Park

Free classic films on a giant inflatable screen! Sunday is rain-out night: if a film can’t be shown ear- lier in the week due to weather, it will be shown on Sunday night. Musical entertainment begins at 7 pm. Movies begin at dusk (9:45 pm or so). Vendors offer dinner and snack food.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1980 | USA | PG | 124 min.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas created a film that would change cinema forever and launch a pop-culture juggernaut. The second installation in Lucas’ original trilogy finds our hero Luke Skywalker honing his Jedi mastery with Yoda, while the evil Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire hunt down and capture his Rebel comrades. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, will the Force be strong enough with young Skywalker as he faces off against the Dark Side? Whether you will be seeing it for the first or 500th time, don’t miss your chance to experience this ultimate classic like never before: on a 100-foot screen beneath the stars. May the Force be with you! Tuesday at Dusk

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
1936 | USA | NR | 115 min.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Frank Capra’s populist classic about a small-town guy (the dreamy Gary Cooper) who inherits a fortune is just as relevant, funny and enjoyable today as it was when Hollywood made it during the Great Depression. Moving to the big city at the behest of his scheming attorney, Longfellow Deeds is inundated by people trying to take advantage of him, including a reporter (Jean Arthur) he falls for. Our intrepid hero eventually wins over the jaded city folk with his pure heart, but when he decides to give away his fortune to those in need, he is put on trial for insanity. Will honorable values and integrity prevail? Be sure to come to the Open Space to find out in this timely film that extols the virtues of sharing wealth and helping others. Wednesday at Dusk

Mrs. Doubtfire
1993 | USA | PG-13 | 125 min.

Say “Helloooo dears” as our streak of cinematic nannies continues with director Chris Columbus’ (“Home Alone,” “Harry Potter”) cross-dressing farce with family appeal. In a showcase of his improvisational genius, Robin Williams gives a tour-de-force performance as Daniel Hillard, who, after losing custody of his beloved three children in a bitter divorce, transforms himself into the Scottish nanny Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire in order to spend more time with them. More than an alter ego, Mrs. Doubtfire gives the devoted yet puerile Daniel the chance to be the father he never was. No need to hire a nanny — bring the kids along to this modern-day “Mary Poppins” for a story that is just as hilarious as it is heartwarming. Thursday at Dusk

The People’s Choice: The Dark Knight
2008 | USA | PG-13 | 152 min.

Can’t wait for the 2012 arrival of “The Dark Knight Rises?” Relive the second installment in visionary director Christopher Nolan’s Bat- man reboot that redefined super-hero movies for a new generation. As Batman continues his crusade against organized crime, a new threat arrives in Gotham deter- mined to take him down at any cost. Batman must stop the deeply twisted Joker before Gotham descends into chaos. Led by Heath Ledger’s immersive and haunting performance as the Joker, this brilliantly mesmerizing piece of pop art transcends the comic book genre and unsettles the very foundations of vigilante justice. Why be so serious when you can join us for a film that reminds us the night is darkest just before dawn? Friday at Dusk

Tangled
2010 | USA | PG | 100 min.

You don’t need to be hit over the head with a frying pan to know this will be a night the whole family won’t soon forget. Disney’s twist on a classic tale has Rapunzel locked in a tower by the vain Mother Gothel, who selfishly protects Rapunzel’s magical youth-granting and outrageously long locks. Spending her days painting the walls with things she has never experienced, the spunky Rapunzel yearns to see the outside world and the mysterious lights she watches from afar each year on her birthday. With the help of a swashbuckling thief, and accompanied by Alan Menken’s Oscar-nominated soundtrack, Rapunzel embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, discovering that life outside the tower walls holds more for her than she ever dared imagine. Join us as we light up the Open Space for an evening of the Magic of Disney. Saturday at Dusk

Special Screenings

To Kill a Mockingbird
1962 | USA | NR | 129 min.

Mary Badham, the great actress who portrayed Scout in this timeless American classic, will join us in person at a very special 50th anniversary screening. Gregory Peck won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a lawyer and widowed father who agrees to defend a black man who has been wrongfully accused of a terrible crime. As a result of their father’s brave and just decision, the children are exposed to the prejudice and evil, as well as the courage and compassion prevalent in their hometown. WED 6 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
2010 | USA | NR | 78 min.

More than 50 years after its publication, “To Kill A Mockingbird” continues to sell nearly a million copies each year. Mary Murphy’s documentary serves as a tribute to the novelist Harper Lee and her first—and only—book, which went on to become a national treasure. In compelling interviews with big-name fans such as Scott Turow, James McBride, Rosanne Cash, Anna Quindlen, Oprah Winfrey, Harper Lee’s sister and closest friends, as well as Mary Badham (who plays Scout in the film and who will join us in Traverse City this festival), Murphy’s documentary traces the history of this courageous novel and the enigmatic woman behind it. WED 9 a.m. OTP  Buy tickets now!

L’Inferno
1911 | Italy | NR | 68 min.

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” Filmed over a span of three years with three different directors helming a cast and crew of over 150 people, this groundbreaking adaptation of Dante’s “Inferno” was Italy’s first feature-length film. Showcasing stunning special effects and creating a cinematic language, this epic transformed the mountains and rivers of Italy into the fiery depths of Hell. On the 100th anniversary of its theatrical release, it remains a remarkable visual treat for film lovers. Don’t miss this colossal film in all its glory with live accompaniment by organist Stephen J. Warner, part of our State Theatre Centennial celebration. SUN 12 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Wild & Weird Short Films
2011 | USA | NR | 140 min.

The Alloy Orchestra returns to TCFF with their world-famous, unique orchestral stylings, present- ing their favorite gems from the earliest days of cinema, including cinematic magician George Me?lie?s’ classic “A Trip to the Moon” (1902), Edwin S. Porter’s trippy, surreal “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend” (1908), and Buster Keaton’s deadpan misadventure “The Play House” (1921). With their original compositions written for synthesizer and their infamous “rack of junk” (a collection of found objects used as percussive instruments), this experience is not to be missed. SUN 3 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Union! Our Salute to Public Employees

This coming December marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Flint Sit Down Strike, an event the BBC calls “one of the most important events in the history of Western Civilization.” This year we salute the surviving members of our past labor struggles (they will join us here in Traverse City) with the world premiere of a film by the grandson of Victor Reuther, and with opening night’s “Made in Dagenham.”

With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade
1979 | USA | NR | 45 min.

A dramatic and ubiquitous labor vs. management story is brought to life in this telling of the 1936 Flint GM sit-down strike, where legions of hard-working women joined together to help solidify the formation of the United Auto Workers. Initially unwelcomed by male leadership, a cooperative band of strong women formed the Women’s Emergency Brigade to provide support to fellow male strikers occupy- ing the plant. They were out on the front lines risking life and limb for workers’ rights. Nominated for an Academy Award, this insightful and engaging film demonstrates that inequalities that affect one segment of the population often compromise the freedom of others. FRI 3 p.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

Brothers on the Line
2009 | USA | NR | Work in Progress

A tale of brotherly love that extends far outside of family lines, this film tells the story of the Reuther brothers—Walter, Roy and Victor—who devoted their lives to the fight for social justice, forever changing the course of labor relations in the US. Key figures in the creation of the United Auto Workers (Walter would go on to serve as UAW president for almost 30 years) and in ending the Big Three auto companies’ oppressive treatment of employees, they gave a voice to the little guys: a voice corporate interests tried to silence at any cost. “Time” magazine cover boys and unrelenting social advocates, their legacy continues to resonate as the workforce faces a new set of challenges. Narrated by Martin Sheen and directed with a deeply personal touch by Victor’s grandson Sasha Reuther, this inspirational tale shows how activism can start at home. SAT 6 pm. OTP | SUN 3 pm. COH Buy tickets now!

US Indies

All Good Things
2010 | USA | R | 101 min.

Inspired by the notorious Kathleen A. Durst missing person case, this chilling mystery closely follows the known facts in the story of David Marks (Ryan Gosling), the young heir to a powerful New York family’s real estate fortune, and the still-unsolved disappearance of his beautiful young wife (Kirsten Dunst). What begins as a fairytale romance between two young people from different worlds slowly disintegrates. Family secrets reveal themselves, as do the increasingly darker shades of David’s personality. Andrew Jarecki returns to true crime with a tale that will keep you up nights. WED 9 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

Everything Must Go
2010 | USA | R | 97 min.

Will Ferrell brings his serious acting chops to portray a down-on-his-luck alcoholic salesman who, in the course of one day, loses his job and returns home to discover that his wife has left him, thrown all his belongings on the front lawn, and changed the locks. With nowhere to go, he turns the front lawn into a recliner shantytown that eventually becomes a yard sale of epic proportions. This Raymond Carver suburban pastoral is an unforgettable gem that’s heartbreaking and heartwarming. WED 9 p.m. LARS | THU MIL 9 p.m.  Buy tickets now!

Hesher
2010 | USA | R | 106 min.

Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the embodiment of pure anarchy, an unstoppable chaotic force who leaves naught but scorched earth in his wake. One day, the sociopath unexpectedly enters the lives of a grieving 13-year-old and his father Paul, and starts squatting in their garage. Paul has checked out of life after losing his wife, and can’t muster the strength to kick Hesher out. Gordon-Levitt gives one of cinema’s all-time badass performances, waving a nihilistic middle finger at the world in an original and provocative film that delivers both black and comedy in equal measure. THU 9 p.m. LARS | FRI 9 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Higher Ground
2011 | USA | R | 109 min.

Based on Carolyn S. Briggs’ memoir about her life as a born-again Christian, Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”) directs and stars in a beautifully sincere coming-of-age story that traces a Christian woman’s spiritual journey from early youth through adulthood. Growing up during the swinging sixties, Corinne attempts to strike a balance between her religious life and her secular interests in literature and writing, before having a family and living in a tight-knit church community. Farmiga has meticulously crafted a candid, passionate and moving portrait of modern spirituality. WED 6 p.m. OTP | SAT 6 p.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

Rabbit Hole
2010 | USA | PG-13 | 91 min.

Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this warm and genuine film follows a couple struggling to cope with of one of life’s great tragedies: the loss of a young child. Eight months after a traffic accident took the life of their four-year-old son, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are still reeling. But as they gradually open up to their grief and rejoin the world in new ways, they each find solace from unexpected places. Optimistic, honest and surprisingly witty, this portrait of a family torn apart and reborn in the wake of tragedy earned Nicole Kidman a well-deserved nomination for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars. THU 3 p.m. OTP   Buy tickets now!

Rid of Me
2011 | USA | NR | 105 min.

If you like your indies really indie, look no further than this innovative, darkly comic story about Meris (Katie O’Grady), who moves to a picturesque neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, with her hunky new husband with high hopes for a life of domestic bliss. Try as she might to fit in, her dreams of a perfect marriage are short-lived, as Mitch’s old friends (think thirty-something-year-old “Mean Girls”) reject Meris and set out to rekindle the old flame between Mitch and his high school sweetheart. cast out of her home and social circle, Meris finds a job at a local candy shop and connects with a group of fellow social misfits. From the stunning opening scene on, newcomer O’Grady delivers a winning performance. THU 9 p.m COH | SAT 12 p.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

New Foreign Cinema

Black Butterflies
2011 | Germany, Netherlands, South Africa | NR | 100 min.

The “South African Silvia Plath,” Ingrid Jonker, is brilliantly portrayed by Carive von Hauten in this award-winning performance, which follows Jonker as she is swept up in a sea of stormy affairs and walks the edge of insanity. “Black Butterflies” tells the story of her tragically short life, exposing us to her impassioned verse. Director Paula van der Oest’s gorgeous biopic explores Jonker’s volatile genius, following her through the intersecting political and personal travails that inspired and shaped her work. WED 9 p.m. MIL | THU 9 a.m. STA Buy tickets now!

Face to Face
2011 | Australia | NR | 87 min.

Adapted from fellow Aussie David Williamson’s play of the same name, this smartly acted indie drama from director Michael Rymer (“Angel Baby”) joins a group of ten people in a “community conference” (an Australian conflict resolution technique) to determine the fate of Wayne, a violent youth who smashed his boss’ car in a fit of anger after being laid off. But the group, which includes some of Wayne’s coworkers, can’t agree on how to handle his case as each becomes increasingly complicit in the crime. Relying on strong performances from each member of its ensemble, this finely wrought, award-winning drama will draw you in like “12 Angry Men,” and will astonish most every American. FRI 6 p.m. STA | SUN 12 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Bride Flight
2008 | Netherlands, Luxembourg | R | 130 min.

Inspired by the historic air race from London to Christchurch, this lush period drama follows the destinies of three women who become friends en route from dreary postwar Holland to New Zealand, and whose lives are forever changed by a their encounter with a handsome bachelor named Frank. The most expensive Dutch film ever made, this epic romance from director Ben Sombogaart features gorgeous photography and a rare cameo from Rutger Hauer. THU 3 p.m. LARS | SAT 9 a.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

Four Lions
2010 | UK | R | 102 min.

This provocative film follows a group of suicide bombers-in-training as they make plans to strike a blow for Islam in Great Britain — and it’s absolutely hilarious. Satirizing contemporary fears, this daring debut feature from director Chris Morris follows a bumbling crew of aspiring jihadists who argue about which one of them is “the most al-Qaeda,” and generally exhibit a proficiency with explosives that rivals Wile E. Coyote. Pitch-black and pointed in its humor, this frighteningly plausible farce manages to both humanize and critique the followers of radical ideologies. SAT 9 p.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

The Guard
2011 | Ireland | R | 96 min.

Consummate curmudgeonly comedian Brendan Gleeson stars as a foul-mouthed and unorthodox Gal-way cop in this pitch-black comedy that ranks among the year’s best. Sergeant Gerry Boyle plays by his own rules while patrolling his idyllic coastal village. But Boyle just might have to shape up when uptight FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) flies to his side of the pond to investigate an international drug ring. This irreverently funny odd-couple/buddy cop flick from writer-director John Michael McDonagh pushes the boundaries of comedy. FRI 3 p.m. LARS | SAT 3 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

Queen to Play (Joueuse)
2009 | France, Germany | | 97 min.

On the scenic isle of Corsica, He?le?ne works two jobs as chambermaid, at an upscale resort and at the home of the curmudgeonly Dr. Kro?ger, to support her family through the economic recession. After glimpsing a couple playing an amorous game of chess on the hotel balcony one day, she cultivates a curiosity for the game and what it represents. This nuanced and captivating dramedy from first-time writer- director Caroline Bottaro is one of the best films the fest has to offer this year. Don’t miss it. FRI 9 p.m. LARS | SAT 3 p.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

The Trip
2010 | UK | R | 117 min.

This latest work by acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom is part foodie road movie, part mockumentary and part celebrity impression showcase, with a healthy smattering of buddy rivalry thrown into the mix. Actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a tour of the most impressive eateries in the north of England, sparring over plates of scallops, and engaging in impromptu competitive impersonations of the likes of Michael Caine, Al Pacino and Woody Allen in this bitingly clever film, which packs the punch of a surprisingly introspective drama to boot. WED 6 p.m. LARS | THU 6 p.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

Romantics Anonymous (Les Émotifs Anonymes)
2010 | France | NR | 80 min.

Pathologically timid Jean-Rene? owns a failing chocolate factory on the brink of bankruptcy, and he’s just as unlucky in his love life. But the answers to his business and personal prayers are answered when the equally shy but gifted chocolatie?re Ange?lique summons up the courage to apply for a post at Jean-Rene?’s factory. Unexpected sparks fly as the terminally abashed pair must overcome their social anxiety disorders to find a fairy-tale romance. THU 9 p.m. STA | FRI 6 p.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

Trophy Wife (Potiche)
2010 | France | R | 103 min.

This colorful farce abounds with French cinema legends, class conflict and plenty of feathered hairdos. Suzanne (Catherine Deneuve), the middle-aged wife of an umbrella factory manager, has always been considered a potiche: a silent symbol of her husband’s prestige. But when the man of the house is taken hostage by his workers, Suzanne steps in to run the family business—and astonishes everyone by being extraordinarily good at it. This tribute to ‘70s women’s lib from acclaimed director Franc?ois Ozon is a true delight. WED 12 p.m. COH | SUN 9 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

The Women on the 6th Floor (Les Femmes du 6e?me Étage)
2010 | France | NR | 104 min.

In this breezy French period comedy of manners, stodgy Parisian stock-broker Jean-Louis Joubert is trapped in a boring bourgeois existence and an unhappy marriage. But after Jean-Louis gets acquainted with the lively group Spanish maids who have moved into the sixth floor servants’ quarters of his building, he rediscovers his joie de vivre. Following a particularly nasty spat with his neurotic spouse, Jean-Louis seeks refuge on the sixth floor, where the spirited Spaniards help give him a new outlook on life. THU 12 p.m. STA | SUN 9 p.m. COH  Buy tickets now!

Young Goethe in Love (Goethe!)
2010 | Germany | NR | 100 min.

Before he penned “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe lived his own tale of love and betrayal. After failing to complete his doctorate, Johann accepts a mundane and meaningless job as a clerk. One day, after meeting a lovely woman named Lotte, the banality of Johann’s life is altered by a love affair worthy of any novel, as the romance is interrupted when Johann discovers Lotte is already engaged. Alexander Fehling plays the role of young Goethe to perfection, demonstrating the sorrows that inspired one of his greatest works. WED 9 a.m. MIL | SUN 12 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

In a Better World (Hævnen)
2010 | Denmark, Sweden | R | 119 min.

Susanne Bier’s magnificent and challenging drama, winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, examines the implications of the humanitarian work of an affluent Swedish doctor at an African refugee camp. Subtle but unmistakable parallels between the two environments force us to rethink a planet divided symbolically into first and third worlds, and to contemplate difficult questions of personal ethics and retribution. FRI 9 a.m. MIL | SUN 3 p.m. OTP   Buy tickets now!

Largo Winch
2008 | France, Belgium, Croatia | NR | 108 min.

This globetrotting action thriller follows Largo Winch, the secret son of billionaire mogul Nerio Winch and the sole person in line to inherit his fortune. When Nerio drowns under mysterious circumstances, Largo emerges from obscurity to take the reins of his father’s business conglomerate and find out who killed his father, and neither activity turns out to be universally popular. Corporate intrigue and action collide in this Bond-meets-Bourne adventure, as Largo sets out to uncover the truth and claim his rightful inheritance. FRI 6 p.m. OTP | SAT 6 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

Incendies
2010 | Canada, France | R | 130 min.

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards, this captivating mystery follows the journey two Quebecois siblings undertake to uncover the dark secrets of their family history after a revelation following their mother’s death. In this viscerally cinematic and spellbinding tale of tragedy and reconciliation, director Denis Villeneuve masterfully spins his narrative across the recent his- tory of a troubled region, crafting a haunting and suspenseful drama of epic proportions. WED 12 p.m.  LARS  Buy tickets now!

Miral
2010 | France, Israel, Italy, India | R | 112 min.

From Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel comes this dramatic and earnest multi-generational chronicle of a changing Palestine. The story begins with the birth of Israel in 1948 in war-torn Jerusalem, where Hind Husseini sets up an orphanage and school for Palestinian children to educate them on the virtues of peace. Decades later, a young Miral finds herself among the ranks of Hind’s pupils. But as the first Intifada gains momentum, Miral begins to question her teacher’s belief in nonviolence. WED 3 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

My Piece of the Pie (Ma Part du Ga?teau)
2011 | France | NR | 109 min.

Fired from her factory job, single mother France finds a cushy gig cleaning the bachelor pad of cocky finance whiz Steve, the man who, unbeknownst to her, brokered the deal that shut down her former place of employment. Soon enough, France starts to enjoy the benefits of her connections to the millionaire lifestyle, and an inevitable romantic entanglement ensues. Director Cedric Klapisch paints a vivid portrait of Gallic greed in this high-brow social comedy that is one of the best films we saw this year. SAT 9:30 p.m. STA | SUN 6 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

The Princess of Montpensier (lLa Princesse de Montpensier)
2010 | France, Germany | NR | 139 min.

Acclaimed director Bertrand Tavernier’s latest opus is a ravishing romantic swashbuckler set in 16th century France against the backdrop of the Catholic/Protestant wars. At the center of the drama, the charming and intelligent Marie de Me?zie?res has ensnared the hearts of France’s nobles, including the dashing, rakish Henri de Guise and his rival Philippe de Montpensier. Passions flare and swords cross as Marie’s romantic web unravels in this intelligent, updated twist on the costume drama genre. WED 9 a.m. STA | FRI 12 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

Documentaries

Battle for Brooklyn
2010 | USA | NR | 93 min.

An historic Brooklyn neighborhood is being torn down to make way for a development that includes a new basketball arena, future home of the New Jersey Nets. Developer Forest City Ratner Companies, with prominent politicians by its side, promises the project will bring in jobs and low-cost housing. But to make way for the developers, long-time residents are forced out of their homes. This story of the eight-year grassroots resistance effort is an epic tale of fighting for your community. WED 3 p.m. OTP | FRI 12 p.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
2010 | Canada, USA, France, Germany, UK | G | 90 min.

The latest documentary from visionary director Werner Herzog follows an expedition on a breath- taking trip to a cave in southern France, home to the world’s oldest known art. Herzog’s quest for profoundly new cinematic imagery has perhaps never been better realized than in this film, in which he sends his gaze 30,000 years across the temporal abyss to contemplate the origins of human expression. This magical and immersive documentary is one of cinema’s most captivating examples of 3D. Shown in 2D at the State, and 3D at Lars. WED 12 p.m.  STA | SUN 3 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

Being Elmo
2011 | USA | NR | 76 min.

Each year, the festival offers films that surprise—movies you’ll find yourself telling friends about. This year, your heart will be stolen by this cross-generational, audience-award–winning delight, in which you’ll meet the creative genius behind the worldwide superstar “Elmo,” Kevin Clash. This rare look behind the scenes of the magical world of the Muppets will have you leaving the theater wanting to hug someone. In person: Kevin Clash, Director Constance Marks
WED 3 p.m. STA | THU 6 p.m. COH  Buy tickets now!

Bill Cunningham New York
2010 | USA, France | NR | 84 min.

Octogenarian New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham has been capturing the fashion of the streets since the 1970s, pedaling his trusty Schwinn around the streets of Manhattan to snap shots of downtown eccentrics, Manhattan’s glitterati at high-society soire?es, and regular old people, using his unique vision to see the rhythms of the fashion world and shoot what is fashionable and what is next. Regardless of whether or not you’re a devotee to the Style section of the Times, this feel-good documentary will captivate you. WED 3 p.m. MIL | SAT 9 a.m. OTP  Buy tickets now!

Exporting Raymond
2010 | USA, Russia | PG | 86 min.

Phil Rosenthal—the creative force behind “Everybody Loves Raymond”—directs and stars in this hilarious true tale of “a fish out of water and into vodka.” When a Moscow television network shows interest in adapting “Raymond,” the untraveled Rosenthal heads east and quickly discovers that he is ill equipped to deal with the challenges posed by cross-cultural collaboration. Even if you’ve never seen his CBS hit, you’ll love Rosenthal in this uproarious documentary. In person: Director Phil Rosenthal, Producer Jim Czarnecki
WED 6 p.m. COH   Buy tickets now!

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
2011 | USA | R | 89 min.

After being ousted at the height of his popularity from a short-lived stint as host of “The Tonight Show,” hyperkinetic funnyman Conan O’Brien embarked on a 32-city “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” tour. Filmmaker Rodney Flender followed along for the ride, candidly showing the master improviser at the top of his game, both on and off stage: a whirlwind of comedic energy who’s just as funny sitting on his couch and cracking wise as he is live in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans. In person: Director Rodney Flender
FRI 9 p.m. OTP | SAT 9 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

An Encounter with Simone Weil
2010 | USA, Italy, Sweden | NR | 85 min.

How should one confront the suffering of others? Filmmaker Julia Haslett seeks an answer in the works of French philosopher Simone Weil, a woman who devoted her life—and death—to formulating an ethical response to the same question. In this thought-provoking documentary, Haslett explores Weil’s intellectual legacy in part to create a framework to examine her own suffering, and to introduce contemporary audiences to Weil’s brilliant but little-known works. In person: Director Julia Haslett
WED 12 p.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football
2010 | USA | NR | 94 min.

Fordson High School was built by Henry Ford in 1922, and it’s now a public school with a 98% Arab population in Dearborn, Michigan, the place with the largest concentration of Arabs in any city outside the Middle East. Director Rashid Ghazi follows the Fordson football team during the holy month of Ramadan, as they prepare to take on their affluent crosstown rivals. The best thing about the doc is families we meet, striving for the American dream and struggling to gain acceptance in post-9/11 America. In person: Director Rashid Ghazi
FRI 9 p.m. STA | SAT 12 p.m. COH  Buy tickets now!

Give Up Tomorrow
2011 | UK, USA | NR | 90 min.

One stormy night in the Philippines, two sisters disappeared without a trace. In the wake of the ensuing media circus, the police arrested the wrong man, 19-year-old culinary student Paco Larran?aga. Larran?aga’s family has since championed the fight for his release from prison, aiming to expose the miscarriage of justice that put their son on the brink of death row. Filmmakers Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco present a gripping— and unresolved—true crime story. In person: Directors Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco
SUN 12 p.m. OTP | FRI 9 p.m. COH  Buy tickets now!

How to Start Your Own Country
2010 | Canada | NR | 72 min.

Fed up with the country you live in? Make your own! This light-hearted documentary takes you on a tour of the world’s rogue micro-nations and introduces you to their eccentric founders and royalty. In addition to presenting an array of colorful characters—including members of Australia’s only royal family, the once-notorious secessionists who founded the Hutt River Province—”How to Start Your Own Country” raises big questions about the very nature of nationhood and sovereignty. SAT 3 p.m. MIL | SUN 6 p.m. COH  Buy tickets now!

Gnarr
2010 | Iceland | NR | 96 min.

Could a comedian have a chance running for mayor of Reykjavik by starting a new political party, calling it the “Best Party,” and campaigning on promises like ousting from office anyone who hadn’t seen all five seasons of “The Wire”? With Iceland’s voters disillusioned by the government that brought about Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008, edgy comedian Jo?n Gnarr put his name in the hat. This uproariously funny insider doc follows Gnarr as he jokes his way through to the heat of a mayoral election and beyond. FRI 12 p.m. STA | SUN 9 p.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
2011 | USA | NR | 85 min.

Labeled America’s top domestic terrorism threat by the FBI, the organization known as the Earth Liberation Front started out as a group of peaceful environmental activists before turning to more destructive means. This documentary takes on the thorny issue of eco-terrorism in a post-9/11 environment that has forever changed the implications of the word, taking a hard look at the elusive border between activism and radicalization, between justified protest and crimes against one’s neighbor and community.
THU 12 p.m. LARS | SAT 9 a.m. MIL  Buy tickets now!

Granito
2011 | USA, Guatemala, Spain | NR | 103 min.

A testament to the power of documentary filmmaking, director Pamela Yates’ riveting film presents the parallel struggles of six individuals to bring the perpetrators of the Mayan genocide in Guatemala to justice. Yates documents the ongoing efforts of forensics experts, lawyers, and Mayan survivors to confront the past and exact justice, reunites with indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchu?, and revisits haunting memories in this powerful sequel to her landmark documentary, “When the Mountains Tremble.” In person: Director Pamela Yates, Producer Paco de Onis
FRI 12 p.m. COH | SUN 9 p.m. OTP   Buy tickets now!

Hot Coffee

2011 | USA | NR | 88 min.

The case of the old lady who spilled hot McDonald’s coffee on herself and successfully sued the company for millions remains the most well-known point of reference in a great fight taking place around our American judicial system. Filmmaker Susan Saladoff’s eye-opening documentary offers an examination of what really happened, who funded the effort to make sure every American knew about the case, and to what end. Using this and other stunning examples of stories that seem too hard to believe to be true, Saladoff investigation of America’s civil justice system demands attention. In person: Susan Saladoff
WED 9 p.m. OTP | SUN 3 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Kumare?
2011 | USA | NR | 84 min.

Envisioning a Borat-style social experiment designed to test the limits of faith, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi transformed himself to match a stereotypical image of an enlightened guru from the East, donning flowing robes and learning yoga to build a following of disciples in Arizona. But what started as a hoax developed into something more complicated and profound as Kumare?’s followers began to take him seriously, leading Gandhi to confront his own identity and beliefs. A controversial, provocative and genuine meditation on the nature of spirituality. In person: Director Vikram Gandhi
WED 3 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

L’amour Fou
2010 | France | NR | 100 min.

What if you died, and a documentary was made telling your story through the words of your life’s romantic partner, who was in the process of selling off all of your possessions at auction? That’s the story of “L’amour Fou,” the story of Yves Saint Laurent, named head of design at the House of Dior at age 21, as told by his romantic partner Pierre Berge?, with whom YSL owned and directed his own fashion house. Fifty years of fashion history provide a dazzling backdrop to Berge?’s story of their relationship—a must-see for lovers of fashion and art alike. THU 9 a.m. MIL | FRI 3 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Project Nim
2011 | UK | PG-13 | 93 min.

It’s a chimp in the picture, but this film is about human behavior, and it will stick with you long after it’s over. In 1973, Columbia University psychology professor Herb Terrace set out to prove that if a chimp were raised like a human child, it could be taught to communicate via sign language. Thus began Nim Chimpsky’s extraordinary journey from academic curiosity to media star and, eventually, to a tragic end, as scientists gradually came to realize they were in way over their heads. James Marsh has again turned in one of the year’s best documentaries, creating a biopic that reveals more about who we are as a species than we want to know. THU 12 p.m. MIL | FRI 9 a.m. STA Buy tickets now!

The Loving Story
2011 | USA | NR | 77 min.

In the late 1950s, newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested and subsequently convicted of felony charges, leading to banishment from their home state of Virginia. Their crime? Inter- racial marriage. With the help of Bobby Kennedy and the ACLU, the couple fought all the way to the Supreme Court in what would become a turning point in our nation’s civil rights history. In the midst of another heated debate on marriage rights in America, this film offers a strong message that reminds us of how great our country can be. In person: Director Nancy Buirski
THU 6 p.m. MIL | SAT 12 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Semper Fi: Always Faithful
2011 | USA | NR | 75 min.

Retired Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger devoted nearly 25 years to service in the Marines, following the motto “Always Faithful” as a way of life. When his nine-year-old daughter died of a rare form of leukemia while living at the military base Camp Lejeune, a grief-stricken Ensminger took on a quest that would lead him to a shocking discovery. This courageous and impassioned expose? follows his mission to make the Marine Corps to live up to its own motto. In person: Directors Tony Hardmon and Rachel Libert
THU 3 p.m.  COH | SUN 9 a.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Nuremberg: Its Lessons for Today
1948 | USA | NR | 78 min.

Despite documenting one of the most important events of its time, “Nuremberg: Its Lessons Today” was initially repressed by American officials and is only now making its U.S. theatrical premiere. Commissioned by the U.S. War Department to show the necessity for a trial on crimes against humanity, this documentary follows the proceedings against 22 top Nazi officials. See one of the world’s greatest and most influential inter- national courtroom dramas brought to life in this stunning restoration by the Stuart Schulberg family. In person: Sandra Schulberg
FRI 3 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Presspauseplay
2011 | Sweden | NR | 88 min.

Now more than ever, anyone can be an artist. Across many forms of media, the digital revolution has lowered the barrier of entry and offered an unlimited supply of information and entirely new means of collaboration. The boundary between artist and audience has grown increasingly thin. But is our age of abundance and democratization producing better art, or just more of it? Featuring interviews with some of the digital age’s most influential, this insightful documentary explores shifting definition of art and what it takes to be a true artist in the digital era. THU 9 a.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure
2011 | Australia | NR | 89 min.

In 1987, two 20-something punks moved into a low-rent apartment in San Francisco where they were treated nightly to the alcohol- fueled arguments of their middle-aged neighbors. And so began one of the largest underground phenomena of the 1990s, as the boys decided to record audiotapes of their neighbors’ unbelievably profane shouting matches. Director Matthew Bate goes beyond exploring the methods behind this early viral sensation to analyze the thin line between art and exploitation. THU 3 p.m. MIL | SAT 6 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

The Swell Season
2011 | USA, Czech Republic, Ireland | NR | 91 min.

Folk rockers Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova found themselves on a meteoric rise to fame after the release of their charming hit indie romance “Once,” which took home the Best Original Song Oscar for “Falling Slowly.” Following the group’s two-year tour in the wake of their newfound fame, this gorgeously filmed black and white documentary tracks the band both onstage and off to present a look at their process as musicians, as well as observing the pressures of life in the spotlight on a romance. In person: Director Nick August-Perna
WED 6 p.m. MIL | SAT 9 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

When the Drum is Beating
2011 | USA, Haiti | NR | 84 min.

In a country that has seen so much turmoil over the past six decades, one of the few constants in Haiti has been Orchestre Septentrional, the island nation’s oldest and most celebrated band. This 62-year-old, 20-piece group of rotating musicians embodies the best of the Haitian spirit. Whitney Dow recounts the history of Haiti set to Septentrional’s distinct rhythms, merging archival footage with band members’ reflections on the state of the country and their hopes for the future. In person: Director Whiney Dow, Producer Jen Latham
SAT 3 p.m. OTP | SUN 6 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Windfall
2010 | USA | NR | 83 min.

The simplified narrative of the last 10 or so years regarding alternative energy research has been that wind power, solar power, and other renewable energy sources are the way of the future, and the only thing standing in their way is those greedy oil and coal companies. So if a wind company came to town and offered to pay you to put up its clean, sustainable, emissions- free turbines on your unused land, you’d be all for it, right? The people of the small farming town of Meredith, NY, certainly were—but they learned the hard way that the answer to their energy woes wasn’t so simple. In person: Director Laura Israel
FRI 6 p.m. COH | SUN 6 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Where Soldiers Come From
2011 | USA | NR | 90 min.

These soldiers, a group of childhood friends who embark on a life-changing journey when they sign up for the National Guard, come from the tiny town of Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Filmmaker Heather Courtney follows this group of boys from her hometown from the time they depart through boot camp and their difficult return home, telling the story of their time in Afghanistan and focusing on their loved ones’ lives back home. A profound and beautifully shot examination of the fabric of small town America, “Where Soldiers Come From” creates a personal portrait of how America’s ongoing wars shape our youth, families, and communities. In person: Director Heather Courtney, Hancock Soldiers
WED 9:30 p.m. STA | THU 6 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

You’ve Been Trumped
2011 | UK | NR | 95 min.

On a consequences-be-damned quest to construct the world’s most luxurious golf course and resort on a seaside wilderness preserve in Scotland, “The Donald” figured he would meet minimal resistance, seeing as the Scottish government had overturned its own environmental laws and given him carte blanche to proceed with building. How wrong he was. Rogue film-maker Anthony Baxter entered the front lines of the fight against the developers to capture the outrage of the locals, who stood tall against bulldozers even as their own police force aided Trump’s henchmen. In person: Director Anthony Baxter
THU 9 p.m. OTP | FRI 6 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Midnight

Trollhunter
2010 | Norway | PG-13 | 103 min.

In the Norwegian countryside, a series of unexplained bear poaching incidents lead a trio of plucky film students to the mysterious hunter Hans: the one man charged with keeping the country’s troll population in check. Armed with an arsenal of UV lights and a tricked-out jeep, they set out to document just exactly what “wildlife preservation” means in Norway. Director Andre? Øvredal’s monster movie is a rare treat: a riveting and rollicking ride that combines a deadpan Scandanavian comedic sensibility with classic creature feature thrills. WED MIDNIGHT OTP | SAT MIDNIGHT STA Buy tickets now!

Bellflower
2011 | USA | R | 103 min.

Daydreaming of the apocalypse, Aiden and Woodrow spend their seemingly endless free time in dusty southern California building contraptions that would make Mad Max blush: a homemade flame- thrower, a muscle car with a built- in whiskey tap and other many destructive toys. Their friendship is momentarily disrupted when Woodrow falls hard for Milly. She proves to be a muse for his volatile creativity, and everything’s going fine until Milly pulls the rug out from their relationship. Told with the fervor of a fever dream, this DIY indie has all the makings of a cult classic. WED MIDNIGHT STA | FRI MIDNIGHT OTP Buy tickets now!

Rabies (Kalevet)
2010 | Israel | NR | 90 min.

In Israel’s first entry into the slasher genre, first-time directors Ahron Keshales and Navot Papushado take the action to the woods, where a serial killer is on the loose and seems primed to have his way with everyone else in the isolated area: a group of preppy teens who got lost en route to a tennis match, a young runaway brother and sister, a kindly park ranger and his dog, and a couple of unstable policemen. As the forest begins to reveal its menacing nature, the body count steadily rises in this smart horror flick that delivers heaps of bloody midnight thrills. THU MIDNIGHT OTP | FRI MIDNIGHT STA Buy tickets now!

Deadheads
2011 | USA | NR | 103 min.

Meet Mike. Mike is dead. In fact, he’s a zombie. And with the help of his similarly zombified friend Brent, Mike’s about to set on a road trip to win back the love of his, um, life. This hilarious and action-packed zom-com, described as the “Ferris Bueller” of zombie flicks, follows the undead duo as they trek across the country to Michi- gan (where the film was shot), all the while being hotly pursued by a group of ruthless bounty hunters. Plenty of gory horror action and an equal amount of laughs make this the perfect midnight flick. THU MIDNIGHT STA Buy tickets now!

Shorts for Midnight Program
Runtime: 81 minutes

Heads will roll and panties will fly in this year’s group of twisted and badass midnight shorts. In “BlinkyTM,” a boy gets more than he bargained for with his new robot friend while in “8 Bits,” a retro video game warrior gets his brutal revenge on a bunch of baddies. An innocent neighborly gesture takes an unexpected turn in the morbidly funny “Sugar,” and a sweet little girl turns into a DIY exterminator after discovering some unwanted pests in “Moving Day.” These shorts — and more! — are only for the adventurous.

8 bits Valere Amirault, Jean Delaunay, Sarah Laufer, Benjamin Mattern | 2010 | France | 7 min.

BlinkyTM Ruairi Robinson | 2011 | USA, Ireland | 12 min.

The Dungeon Master Rider Strong, Shiloh Strong | 2011 | USA | 13 min.

Las Palmas Johannes Nyholm | 2011 | Sweden | 14 min.

Loom Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay | 2010 | Germany | 5 min.

Moving Day Jason Wingrove | 2010 | Australia | 9 min.

Sugar Jeroen Annokkee | 2010 | Netherlands | 7 min.

Yuri Lennon’s Landing on Alpha 46 Anthony Vouardoux | 2010 | Germany, Switzerland | 14 min.

SAT MIDNIGHT OTP

Buy tickets now!

Experimental Film at Dutmers Theatre

Visionaries 2010 | USA | NR | 88 min.

Were it not for the tireless efforts of single forward-thinking man, an entire movement in the history of film may have been lost forever. Vigorous champion of the “stuff that was a little different,” Jonas Mekas founded Anthology Film Archives in order to preserve and protect the at-risk area of art cinema from disintegrating away. Part history of the avant-garde, part exploration of one man’s passion, director Chuck Workman’s documentary offers a fascinating tour of this misunderstood and underappreciated art form. WED 3 p.m. DUT | FRI 12 p.m. DUT | SAT 9 a.m DUT Buy tickets now!

The White Meadows 2008 | Iran | NR | 93 min.

For years the enigmatic Rahmat has traveled to remote islands collecting the tears of the grief- stricken in a glass bottle. With a ritual shrouded in mystery, Rahmat brings a dignified compassion that alleviates anguish to all he visits in this surreal fable that captures stunningly beautiful vistas with a painterly touch. Director Mohammed Rasoulof’s allegorical social critique led to his recent arrest alongside TCFF honorary jury chair Jafar Panahi, but we can still view his symbolic portrait of persecution and injustice as a lasting message of hope. THU 12 p.m. DUT | SAT 6 p.m. DUT Buy tickets now!

Antoine 2008 | Canada | NR | 82 min.

In many ways, Antoine is just like your average five-year-old boy. He goes to school, has many friends and likes to play pretend. But Antoine also happens to be blind. It is this unfamiliar point-of-view that director Laura Bari seeks to illuminate, crafting a chronicle of a year in Antoine’s life in which he is not only subject but collaborator. Giving Antoine detective missions that usher us into his interior life, Bari delivers a poetic and utterly unique experience in which Antoine’s optimism and inspiring spirit become a testament to the power of the imagination. FRI 3 p.m. DUT | SAT 3 p.m. DUT | SUN 9 a.m. DUT Buy tickets now!

Vapor Trail (Clark) 2010 | USA | NR | 264 min.

In 1991, the U.S. Military pulled out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines, leaving in its wake deadly pollutants that produced a horrific environmental disaster. In this gripping documentary, director John Gianvito uses this profound human tragedy as a starting point for a deeper mediation on the ongoing effects of colonialism and unimpeded militarism, as well as the very nature of the construction of history and social memory, making a heartfelt plea to rectify a situation history has all but forgotten. Intermission after first two hours. SUN 12 p.m. DUT Buy tickets now!

Traces of a Diary 2010 | Portugal, Japan | NR | 75 min.

“Photography is diary…diary is life…in the end, the world and photography always end up alone, with each other.” With these words in mind, Portuguese filmmakers Marco Martins and Andre Principe voyage to Japan to explore its photographic history by profiling six of the nation’s greatest artists. Anyone with even a remote interest in photography will be mesmerized by the stories told in still life. Shot on stylized 16mm black and white, the film is as visually arresting as the artwork it exhibits. THU 3 p.m. DUT | SAT 12 p.m. DUT Buy tickets now!

Kids Fest

Kooky 2010 | Czech Republic | 95 min.

When young Ondra is forced to part with his favorite toy and best friend, a moldy old red teddy bear, he’ll do just about anything to get it back. Thus begins the adventures of Kooky, who comes alive in the dreams of his former owner and begins a magical trek from the rubbish heap through an enchanted forest to reunite with his friend. But to make it home, Kooky must rely on new friends made on his journey to heroically overcome every obstacle that stands in his way. From Oscar-winning director Jan Svera?k. In Czech with English subtitles. Recommended for ages 7 and up. WED 9 a.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

Twigson (Knerten) 2009 | Norway | NR | 74 min.

Junior and his family have just moved into a new home in the beautiful Norwegian countryside, and while his new home offers much adventure, friends his age are few and far between. Luckily, there’s Twigson! Junior discovers his new pal in a pile of firewood, and he’s no ordinary piece of timber. With his sidekick to help him out, Junior’s world becomes a place of wonder as he battles dragons and helps damsels in distress. But when his parents begin to struggle with life in their new house, will Junior and Twigson have the magic it takes to save the family? In Norwegian with English subtitles. Recommended for ages 7 and up. FRI 9 a.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

Mia and the Migoo 2008 | France, Italy | PG | 92 min.

When Mia has a dream that her father is in trouble, she sets out on an incredible journey across mountains and jungles to search for him. Along the way, she finds the Migoo, playful forest spirits that protect the Tree of Life. Capable of changing sizes and splitting into hundreds of creatures, the Migoo introduce Mia to the mysteries of nature. And together, they must save life on earth by putting a stop to megalomaniac Jekhide’s plans to turn their beautiful isolated rainforest into a sprawling resort, on her way to finding her father. In English. Recommended for all ages. SAT 9 a.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

A Cat in Paris 2010 | France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium | NR | 70 min.

Ever wonder about the kinds of adventures your cat might be getting into during the night? This film follows Dino, a fellow of the feline persuasion, as he embarks on his nighttime escapades. By day, Dino is a loyal furry companion to Zoe, a lonely girl who hasn’t spoken a word since the death of her father. By night, he is the clawed accomplice of Nico, a friendly Parisian burglar. How will Dino’s different lives end up affecting one another? Find out in this beautifully animated tale. In English. Adult themes and some language, recommended for ages 8 and up. SUN 9 a.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

Shorts for Kids Program

Runtime: 91 min.

These magical shorts for budding cinephiles are a true treat for the whole family. In “Dragonboy,” an epic medieval tale of love and honor is told on the stage of an elementary school play. Marcel muses on the trials and tribulations of being a little shell, and Morris Lessmore discovers the power of literature in a magical library. The true story of a little girl’s adventure on the New York subway comes to life in “The Yellow Balloon,” and in “Specky Four-Eyes” a boy’s imagination runs wild when he takes off his glasses — but will his sense of adventure get the best of him? “Stoneflies” in German. Other shorts in English. Recommended for all ages. THU 9 a.m. LARS

Animal Beatbox Damon Gameau | 2010 | Australia | 3 min.

Dragonboy Lisa Allen, Bernardo Warman, Shaofu Zhang | 2011 | USA | 4 min.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg | 2010 | USA | 16 min.

Lost and Found Philip Hunt | 2008 | UK | 24 min.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Dean Fleischer-Camp | 2010 | USA | 4 min.

New Digs Martin Sen | 2010 | South Africa | 2 min.

Out of Sight Ya-Ting Yu | 2011 | Taiwan | 6 min.

Specky Four-Eyes Jean-Claude Rozec | 2010 | France | 9 min.

Stoneflies Anne Walther | 2009 | Germany | 15 min.

Tally Ho, Pancake! Kai Pannen | 2009 | Germany | 6 min.

The Yellow Balloon Robert Castillo, Ben Thompson | 2010 | USA | 3 min.

Buy tickets now!

Lost and Found, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Stoneflies and Tally Ho, Pancake: courtesy of Northwest Film Forum

100th Celebration of Roy Rogers

Don’t Fence Me In 1945 | USA | NR | 71 min.

Giddy on up for Roy Rogers, the King of the Cowboys, and his wife Dale Evans, the Queen of the West, in this musical Western that deftly combines comedy, thrills, and romance. Evans plays Toni Ames, a reporter from the east who ventures west to uncover the truth about outlaw Wildcat Kelly, presumed dead for over 40 years. With its title song written by Cole Porter, the folksy and sophisticated meet in this relic of a bygone era that best embodies the whole- some brand of Westerns that made Rogers America’s favorite singing cowboy. FRI 3 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

Under Western Stars 1938 | USA | NR | 65 min.

Roy Rogers’ big break came from this classic B Western musical. Rogers is elected to Congress to bring attention to the plight of dustbowl farmers, and returns home with a fellow congressman to gain his support. Stranding the delegation without water to illustrate the true living conditions of his district, Rogers imparts a folksy lesson the Washington elite won’t soon forget. Don’t be fooled by the singing, as this rarely seen bit of film history will delight and charm even the roughest and toughest of cowboys. SAT 12 p.m. STA Buy tickets now!

The Front 1976 | USA | PG | 95 min.

Woody Allen stars as Howard Prince, a bumbling bookie who finds himself unexpectedly on the path to Hollywood success after signing his name to a script written by a friend who had been black-listed from the entertainment biz. But as his reputation as a writer begins to grow, so do his feelings of moral obligation, leading him to question the system that granted his success by derailing the careers of his friends. This sharp political comedy provides a shrewd glance backwards at the ethical ramifications in the entertainment industry during the McCarthy era. SAT 9 p.m. COH Buy tickets now!

One, Two, Three 1961 | USA | NR | 115 min.

As Coca-Cola’s head of operations in West Berlin, C.R. MacNamara has just one mission: to introduce Coke behind the Iron Curtain and secure a promotion. But his plan is thwarted when the boss assigns MacNamara to chaperone his visiting 17-year-old daughter to keep her safe from the Red. With the jokes coming at a machine-gun pace only James Cagney could pull off, consummate director Billy Wilder and frequent collaborator I.A.L. Diamond deliver a subversive and uproarious political satire. SUN 9 a.m. OTP  Buy tickets now!

Special Screenings

Native American Matinee: Two Spirits 2009 | USA | NR | 65 min.

Fred Martinez possessed a special gift that the Navajo call “na?dleehi,” or “Two Spirit,” meaning physically male but with a feminine nature: a gift he was proud to share until his tragic murder at the age of 16. Once considered treasured members of their tribe, today’s na?dleehi are largely misunderstood within the Navajo Nation and by the outside world. Director Lydia Nibley provides a story of hope that attempts to recover the role of “Two Spirit” within tribal culture, asking viewers to reconsider their perceptions of gender. Sponsored by Turtle Creek Casino & Resort. SUN 9 a.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

The White Balloon (Bad-Konake Sefid) 1995 | Iran | UR | 85 min.

Jafar Panahi joins screenwriter and fellow Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami to craft this gentle and moving tale that offers a rare glimpse into daily life in Iran as seen through the eyes of a child. Young Razieh desperately wants a goldfish and begs her mother for money to go to the market. After much pleading, her mother relents and gives Razieh the family’s final bank note. But things go wrong on the way. With gorgeous photography and an optimistic social message that transcends cultural boundaries, this film will linger with you long after you leave the theater. FRI 9 a.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Mike’s Surprise ?? | ?? | ?? | ??

What surprise does Mike have in store for us this year? Festival Founder and President Michael Moore will show up with… a sneak preview of a big Hollywood movie? A buried treasure that the public hasn’t seen in years? A home movie? All we do know is that it will be two different movies, two different surprises. And nobody will know until the shows begin, sometimes not even Mike. What- ever the surprise is this year, only the curious and the brave should attend. SAT 3 p.m. LARS Buy tickets now!

Habanastation 2011 | Cuba | NR | 91 min.

Cuban director Ian Padro?n presents his first feature-length film as “a fictional story about reality.” Tracing the lives of two Cuban classmates with contrasting lives, Padro?n follows a privileged student who wanders blind into the dangers of Carlos’ neighborhood, La Timba. What follows is an unforgettable journey of friendship and inspirational discovery. Featuring members of the internationally renowned children’s theater company, La Colmenita, Padro?n’s stylistic feature is guaranteed to warm the heart. THU 6 p.m. LARS  Buy tickets now!

Shorts for Adults 1

Program runtime: 93 minutes.

Featuring best-of-fest shorts from eight award-winning filmmakers from around the globe, these shorts are sure to delight. In “Time Freak,” a neurotic inventor creates a time machine only to get lost traveling around yesterday and in “Noreen,” a pair of bumbling Irish cops get in over their heads after they find themselves at a murder scene. A father tells his son the most epic bedtime story ever in “Pioneer,” while a schoolboy finally overcomes an obstacle course and a bullying gym teacher in “Extraordinary Feats of the Seventh Period.” THU 3 p.m. STA  Buy tickets now!

Everyone Says I Love You Ce?cile Ducrocq | 2010 | France | 6 min.

Extraordinary Feats of the Seventh Period William Bridges | 2011 | UK | 15 min.

The Gold Mine Jacques Bonnavent | 2010 | Mexico | 12 min.

The Mirror Laurent Frauchere & Antoine Tinguely | 2010 | Switzerland | 6 min.

Noreen Domhnall Gleeson | 2010 | Ireland | 18 min.

Pioneer David Lowery | 2011 | USA | 16 min.

Switch Thomas Hefferon | 2011 | Ireland | 9 min.

Time Freak Andrew Bowler | 2010 | USA | 11 min.

Buy tickets now!

Shorts for Adults 2

Program runtime: 85 minutes.

Three stunning shorts from veteran filmmakers team up to make this one of the festival’s must-see shorts programs. In his poetic avant-garde short “Jesus Was a Commie,” Matthew Modine muses on a non-violent revolutionary and his message of love and forgiveness; while in the rich, contemplative “Bright,” a young man must overcome crippling anxiety. And acclaimed director Terry George returns to Traverse City with his deeply personal film “The Shore,” which captures the essence of his native Northern Ireland. SUN 12 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

Bright Benjamin Busch | 2011 | USA | 40 min.

Jesus Was a Commie Matthew Modine, Terence Ziegler | 2011 | USA | 15 min.

The Shore
Terry George | 2011 | Ireland | 30 min.

Buy tickets now!

Short Documentaries

Program Runtime: 88 minutes.

These free-spirited and strong-willed documentaries showcase people fight- ing for their dreams and battling social injustice. “In the Spirit of Laxmi” follows one man’s incredible journey raising an injured leopard cub to maturity, while “Top Spin” showcases the talents of a young top table tennis prodigies as she trains to take on the world’s best. We are also proud to present the world premiere of “La Toma,” the latest from Paola Mendoza (“Entre nos,” TCFF ‘09), which documents a Columbian gold mining village’s struggle against being displaced. SAT 12 p.m. MIL Buy tickets now!

In the Spirit of Laxmi
Mike Rogers, Meghan Shea | 2010 | Singapore, India, USA | 30 min.
La Toma Paola Mendoza | 2010 | USA, Colombia | 12 min.

Library of Dust Ondi Timoner, Robert James | 2010 | USA | 15 min.

Mr. Happy Man Matt Morris | 2010 | USA, Bermuda | 11 min.

Players Pilvi Takala | 2010 | Finand, Netherlands | 8 min.

Top Spin Sara Newens, Mina T. Son | 2010 | USA | 12 min.

Short by Students Program Runtime: 88 minutes.

Catch the next generation of auteurs on the rise in this group of student shorts, a mix of animation and live-action films. In “The Eagleman Stag,” one man’s answers to life’s riddles lie in a newly discovered species of beetle, while the “Matter Fisher” takes in a bigger catch than he bargained for. On the streets of Taiwan, a single father confronts a fatal decision in “Braid,” while a little-known story from Saddam Hussein’s early life is powerfully reimagined in “Thief.” WED 12 p.m. OTP Buy tickets now!

Braid Chun-Yi Hsieh | 2011 | Taiwan, China | 15 min.

Bunny Robert Snow | 2010 | USA | 12 min.

The Eagleman Stag Michael Please | 2010 | UK | 9 min.

Matter Fisher David Prosser | 2010 | UK | 7 min.

The Renter Jason Carpenter | 2010 | USA | 10 min.

Thief Julian A. Higgins | 2010 | USA | 25 min.

Urs Moritz Mayerhofer | 2009 | Germany | 10 min.

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