Lights, camera, film fest: this week on The Green Room

Jul 31, 2015

The 2015 Traverse City Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday and wraps up on Sunday.
Credit Daniel Wanschura

The 11th annual Traverse City Film Festival has turned northwest lower Michigan into everything cinematic.

While it’s smaller than say, Sundance or Cannes, the Traverse City Film Festival has it’s own unique flavor. 

Adam Rackoff is a producer from Manhattan. He appreciates how the community comes together to pull off this event.

“I think some other festivals that are in smaller communities, smaller towns … the locals sometimes get annoyed that all these Hollywood types are invading their town,” he says. “I think here, everyone really embraces and celebrates the art of filmmaking.”

Filmmaker Neal Steeno was enjoying the opening night party on Tuesday. He produced a documentary about a Vietnam veteran from Traverse City, who recently traveled back to the country in search of peace and forgiveness. Steeno rushed to get the film done in June, and was a little worried he would be too late for this year’s fest. But Michael Moore saw the late entry and said, “We want it in.”

“To be blessed with the fortune of … being able to show it in front of the hometown crowd, I don’t know how to put it,” he says. “I’m just kind of still in disbelief that I’m walking the Traverse City Film Fest. We couldn’t be more honored and excited.”

IPR's Kate Botello waiting for her popcorn at the Bijou by the Bay
Credit David Cassleman

And of course, a film festival wouldn’t be complete without popcorn.

Louis Dickinson is one of the festival’s venue managers. He’s in charge of making popcorn at Bijou by the Bay. But after 12 years of working in movie theaters, he’s a little “popcorned” out.

“I’ve never made popcorn at home,” says Louis. “Popcorn is not something I take home with me.”