film

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


Laura Checkoway just finished a film that is now being nominated for an Oscar. She’s the director, producer, and editor of a film called Edith+Eddie. It’s up for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She is from Ann Arbor.

Checkoway joined Stateside to discuss how she learned about Edith and Eddie, who at 96 and 95 are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, how her film comments on America’s system of elder care, and what it feels like to receive an Oscar nomination.

Jody Burns (left) acts in Shane Bagwell (center) and Michael Mittelstaedt's recent Cinemasports film. Teams only have 10 hours to write, shoot and edit their films.
Dan Wanschura

Cinemasports is an intense film event. Filmmakers have 10 hours to write, shoot and edit their films. Then the films are screened the same day.

“The value for the 10-hour, three-minute film?” asks Bill Dungjen. “Pretty much my entire philosophy of entertainment, which is, ‘Go do something.’”

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood this Sunday evening.
Ivan Bandura

If you’re using Oscar nominations as a reference, La La Land is one of the best films in history, with 14 nominations.

Only two other films— All About Eve and Titanic— have been nominated 14 times by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

“Today is the day that will live in infamy,” in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt.

This is the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor – the attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

The next year, some Hollywood heavyweights produced a propaganda film called Fellow Americans designed to boost support for the war.

It was narrated by Jimmy Stewart, the first movie star to enter military service. At the time of this film he was a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.

Aaron Peterson stands atop Sugarloaf Mountain, in Marquette. He's launching the Fresh Coast FIlm Festival, in hopes of making more adventure seekers aware of the U.P. and some of the conservation issues facing the Midwest.
Dan Wanschura

Aaron Peterson grew up and attended school in Wisconsin. After college, he moved to southern Minnesota, where he lived for about nine months. That's when he and his fiancé decided to move north to Michigan. They chose Marquette, literally because of how it looked on a map. 

 

Both of them are really big kayakers and they wanted a place where they could settle down, raise a family and still play outside.

For most of us, our view of the bloody civil war in Syria is limited to snippets of video seen on network or cable news.

But a new documentary film gives us a staggering inside view of the Syrian Revolution.

Women make up a small fraction of directors producing movies today. This Traverse City Film Festival panel discussion features women directors. They talk about their work and what has to change so more women can direct movies.

TCFF 2016 Panel: Come to the Doc Side

Jul 28, 2016

The festival kicked off the first full day with a stage full of documentary filmmakers talking about the issues they have followed and the craft of filmmaking.

Steven Ford joined us today to discuss his father, the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

On Friday, the film A Test of Character airs on National Geographic at 9 p.m. Eastern. It tells the story of President Ford and the challenging time in history during which he took office.

When you see a college football team run out onto the field, it's hard to remember that not so long ago, few, if any, of those young players would be black. 

A powerful documentary from filmmaker Maya Washington tells the story of when and how that changed. 

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar shows us the way Michigan State University coach Duffy Daugherty confronted racism on the football field by bringing young black players from the South to East Lansing. 

When you ask anyone about women’s professional baseball, the majority of people will make some reference to director Penny Marshall’s 1992 film A League of Their Own. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna and tells the story of the real-life Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).

A shot from John Bresland's video essay entitled, 'Watch My Feet.'
John Bresland

A picture is worth a thousand words.

We’ve all heard that adage, right? Now, many writers are starting to realize the value of images and have begun incorporating them into their work. It's spawned a new form of creative writing, called the video essay. 


As the Creative Director for The Traverse City Film Festival, Meg Weichman, has seen a lot of films over the years. This week, she stopped by our studio to give us her top five holiday films of all time. “When I put together this list, it was pretty agonizing,” says Weichman. And don’t think the conversation stops at her top five either— Meg also reveals what holiday film offends her most basic sensibilities. 

Plus, our own Aaron Selbig will make his pitch as to why the film Die Hard, is and should be considered a classic Christmas flick.  


The new indie film Superior is set in the summer of 1969, as two lifelong friends grab their bicycles and set out on a 1,300-mile journey around Lake Superior.

The Medal of Honor is the United States highest military honor.

It’s awarded to soldiers for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”


This summer marks the 10th anniversary of a very special summer camp program at Oakland University in Rochester.

It’s the annual film camp for young people on the autism spectrum. Campers from ages 10 to 20 write, direct, edit and star in a short film. It’s followed by a red carpet premiere for attendees and their families in October.

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

Filmstrip festival a nod to a simpler time

Jul 29, 2015
Rosie Flickinger started the so-called filmstrip festival 10 years ago.
Tom Carr

Thousands will line up this week with their tickets in hand for the Traverse City Film Festival. But a few miles to the south, the Traverse City Filmstrip Festival at East Bay Branch Library will celebrate a less glamorous medium.

Before YouTube and before videotapes, school kids saw a lot of filmstrips, like the one Rosie Flickinger shows. It’s a story told and sung by the late Pete Seeger.

 She clicks the filmstrip ahead every time she hears the beep on the audio cassette.

Flickinger, a librarian, started the so-called filmstrip festival 10 years ago, when the Traverse City Film Festival was young. The event is really just a couple showings of filmstrips.


With VHS camera in hand, Michigan native Jerry White Jr. and friends recorded over 400 hours of experimental video art and comedy sketches in a Detroit-area public access TV show they called 30 Minutes of Madness.

This year’s Traverse City Film Festival will include a very special moment.

Legendary producer, director, actor, and screenwriter Roger Corman will receive the Michigan Filmmaker Award.

Utopia Foundation

A foundation in Traverse City is sending money to a children’s center in Nepal. The money goes to a woman raising 48 children in Katmandu. They are left homeless and sleeping in a field after the earthquake.

Paul Sutherland says, because banks are closed in that country, the Utopia Foundation had to hand-deliver cash.

“I want to make sure those children are able to survive this and are fed and safe. And that means you’re trying to act as fast as we can,” he says.

1968 was a very tense and pivotal year in Detroit's history. The city was putting itself back together again after the riots in July of '67.

That was the year 38-year-old priest Thomas Gumbleton became a Catholic bishop, and set about working to unite black and white parishes in the Detroit Archdiocese.

Today, after a lifetime of fighting for peace, justice and equality, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is 85. And his life is now a film. American Prophet written, produced and directed by his parishioner Jasmine Rivera.

The new film 1971 tells the story of the eight members who made up the self-titled Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI. The group stole more than 1,000 classified documents from the FBI in order to expose some of the government agency's unconstitutional and illegal actions.

The film marks the first time these eight citizens are telling their story. Among them is West Michigan native Bonnie Raines and her husband John Raines.

The Freep Film Festival begins its four-day run tomorrow.

This will be the festival's second year. It will open with a double feature of films from two of the Detroit Free Press' own videographers and photographers.

The first is Fire Photo 1. It revolves around Bill Eisner who has been the unofficial photographer for the Detroit fire department for over 50 years.

Here's a trailer:

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