Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival opens tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 31. The 12th edition of the event has generated headlines for championing the visibility of women filmmakers by including only female-helmed or co-helmed works in its competition sections, and cheekily naming a male-directed out-of-competition sidebar “Men Make Movies – The Struggle Continues.” In total, more than a hundred new and recent features will screen at the event, with about half representing documentaries. The well-curated event curates much of its lineup from larger festivals like Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, and Tribeca, but also includes a few world premieres or lesser-know titles, such as the films noted below:
The US documentary competition includes the debut of Kamala Lopez’s EQUAL MEANS EQUAL, which looks at the current state of gender inequality, while the international competition features the North American premiere of Yacine Brahem, Dario Cerruti, and Laurent Negre’s hybrid CONFUSION, about the extradition of a Guantanamo prisoner to Switzerland. Appearing in the Premieres section are the first screenings of Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser’s GENERATION STARTUP (pictured), a look at several young entrepreneurs trying to make a go of it in Detroit; Jesse Nesser’s WALK WITH ME: THE TRIALS OF DAMON J KEITH, about a 94-year-old janitor-turned-federal judge; and Bob Apisa’s MEN OF SPARTA, on Michigan State University’s pioneering integrated 1960s football team. The fest’s Avant Garde section includes Alexandra Cuesta’s TERRITORIO, an immersive exploration of the filmmaker’s Ecuador. Finally, the event wraps with closing night film CONCERTO: A BEETHOVEN JOURNEY, Phil Grabsky’s chronicle of an acclaimed pianist’s three-year international quest to master several of the German composer’s concertos.