Tag Archives: movies

Worcester news you can use!

festival pdf


Parking ban in effect early Tuesday, City offices closed, trash collection delayed

Worcester prepares for 18+inch storm!

In anticipation of Tuesday’s snow storm, predicted to drop 18-plus inches on Worcester, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. on Monday made the following announcements:


· Public works crews began pretreating the city’s streets at noon Monday and will continue through the evening. Morning crews will be ready to go starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday, with more than 350 pieces of equipment ready to plow, salt and sand.

· The city’s Customer Service line, 508-929-1300, will be staffed starting at 6:30 a.m. through the end of the storm.

· The City’s Emergency Operations Center at the new Regional Emergency Communications Center will open Tuesday morning and stay open throughout the storm, to allow representatives from various City departments, public utilities and the Worcester Public Schools to coordinate their response.


· A declared winter parking ban will go into effect at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Residents can check the city’s website to find out where to park on their street. The parking ban is an essential part of keeping the city’s streets clear in a snow emergency, and the Worcester Police Department teams will be enforcing the ban as soon as it begins, with tickets and tows where necessary.

· All municipal garages will be open and free to the public starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, through the duration of the storm, until 8 a.m. Wednesday.


· Trash and recycling collection will be postponed for Tuesday. Collection across the City will be delayed by one day. Tuesday’s collection areas will be picked up on Wednesday; Wednesday areas will be collected on Thursday, and so on. This will allow for all available resources to be put towards plowing and clearing the roads.


· The Worcester Public Schools have canceled classes for Tuesday.


· City Manager Augustus has ordered all municipal offices closed on Tuesday, in keeping with Gov. Charlie Baker’s call to keep as many people as possible off the roads. City Hall, the Worcester Public Library, the Worcester Senior Center will all be closed to the public, and to all non-essential city employees.

· All City Hall meetings, including City Council, will be postponed.

· City Manager Augustus also urged all Worcester businesses to consider closing if possible on Tuesday, or to encourage employees whose jobs allow to work from home.


St. John’s [Church on Temple Street] will again open its emergency overflow homeless shelter Monday evening.

The St. John’s food pantry will remain open throughout the day Tuesday.

The city’s emergency shelter at Worcester Technical High School will be ready if needed for large-scale power outages or other emergencies requiring the sheltering of a large number of people.


Fred Astaire called her “beautiful dynamite” …

Mark your calendars! Our Story Edutainment Black History Month events at the Worcester Public Library!

by Shepard Fairey

At the WPL
Salem Square

Compiled by Parlee Jones

Feb 15 – Wednesday

Black Culture Movie Night

6 p.m.

Hidden Colors – Part 1

Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: *the original image of Christ * the true story about the Moors *the original people of Asia *the great west African empires *the presence of Africans in America before Columbus
*the real reason slavery was ended *And much more.

Feb. 22 – Wednesday

Black Culture Movie Night

6 p.m.

Trials of Muhammad Ali

No conventional sports documentary, THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject’s life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali,to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America’s controversies over
race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin
Films, this film examines how one of the
most celebrated sports champions of the
20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.

Feb. 25 – Saturday

Black Culture Movie for Children

2 p.m.


Under the cover of darkness a small boy,
Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe – and an orphan, just like he is – as well as the nomad Hassan, Prince of the Desert. Hassan takes them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who orders him to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. And so Maki, Zarafa and Hassan take off in a hot-air balloon to cross the Mediterranean, setting off an adventure across Northern Africa, the bustling port of Marseilles, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, arriving at last in Paris. But all the while, Maki is determined to find a way to return Zarafa to her rightful home.

FREE! Movie night and Knitting Circle at WPL

Worcester Public Library

3 Salem Square


5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Black Culture Movie Night: A Soldier’s Story

A Soldier’s Story starring Denzel Washington, Adolph Caesar, Howard Rollins, Jr.

Tensions flare in this gripping film about a murder on a black army base near the end of World War II. Captain Davenport (Howard E. Rollins, Jr.), a proud black Army attorney, is sent to Fort Neal, Louisiana, to investigate the ruthless shooting death of Sergeant Waters (Adolph Caesar). Through interviews with Sarge’s men, Davenport learns the truth.

Location: Saxe Room

TOMORROW! Thursday, Feb. 19

2:30 PM – 4 PM

Knitting Circle

Knit along with us as we work on a themed project, or feel free to bring something you’re working on already!

February’s Theme: Hats/Headbands.

Knitters of all skill levels and other needle-craft enthusiasts are welcome to join us.

Bring your own supplies.

If you would like to learn how to knit please bring size 7 or 8 straight knitting needles and a skein of worsted weight yarn.

Group meets on the first floor at the Food for Thought Library Cafe.

Supplies needed:

Easy headband: 1 skein worsted weight yarn, size 8 straight needles, and yarn needle

Easy hat: 1 skein worsted weight yarn, size 8 straight needles, and yarn needle
Intermediate hat: 16 inch circular needles (size 10), set of size 10 double pointed needles, 1 stitch marker, and worsted weight yarn

Annual Bob Marley bash!

Come celebrate this amazing artist and cultural icon with our Parlee Jones!

Worcester Public Library

3 Salem Square

Tomorrow! Friday, February 6 ~ Bob Marley Bash Movie!

3 pm  ~ screening of the film MARLEY

~ Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history, and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. MARLEY is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, legend, and the man, from his early days to his rise to international super stardom.

Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, never before seen performances, previously unreleased music, and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.

Also Friday ~ Bob Marley Bash concert!

Come and enjoy Conscious, Cultural Vibes as we Celebrate Bob Marley’s 70th Birthday with Worcester’s Original Sound Systems ~ SATALITE MUSIC AND URBAN FIRE!

Live Performances by Worcesters Finest Reggae Performers!

Old School ~ New School ~ Classic ~ Roots and Culture ~ Conscious Vibe ~ Revolution Music!

$7 before 11 pm $10 after. Food and Merchandise will be on Sale also! Electric Haze, 26 Millbury St. ~ 9 pm to 2 am.


February 7 (Saturday) ~ Bob Marley Bash 1 pm to 5 pm at the Worcester Public Library 

OurStory Edutainment Presents … Bob Marley Birthday Bash 2015

You and your family are invited to celebrate the life and music of Robert Nesta Marley.

Bob Marley Related Video

Live Music featuring Worcester’s Best Performers


Sample Authentic Jamaican Food

Spoken Word Poets

Give Aways

Big Family Fun!

Love * Peace * Happiness *


February 8 (Sunday) at the Worcester Public Library ~ Bob Marley Birthday Celebration film

Documentary ~ Rocksteady Roots of Reggae Music 

While everybody has heard the music of Bob Marley, the superstar of reggae, few people know that it was Rocksteady that developed the buoyant rhythms, prominent bass pulse, soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics that gave reggae its power.

This film features a mix of studio recording sessions at Tuff Gong Studios, rarely seen archival footage from the period and interviews with the performers at home or at places on the island that had had profound effects on their music and lives.

Drumming too with Francesca Abbey Worcester Public Library

Be there! 2 pm – 5 pm

“Don’t let them change ya!/ Or even rearrange ya!”

SHANE, one of my …

… favorite Westerns, even though last night, I watched STAGECOACH for the 10th time! The film is sorta cliched, as far as Indians vs the Calvary, the  hooker with a heart of gold, etc but director John Ford makes his movie LOOK GORGEOUS and I love the chemistry between John Wayne and his leading lady, Claire Trevor (a beautiful AND super actor). Usually, I don’t like the way Ford handles the main female characters in his movies. He sets them up with Wayne, Mature, Stewart … and they act like little screechy girls. But in STAGECOACH everything feels so right between Wayne and his lady love. Watch the ENTIRE movie, below.

Click here for more fave Westerns, as voted by the readers of The Guardian. Of course, THE SEARCHERS made the cut.

I hope some of our WPS highschool teachers are showing these films in class and talking about American Westerns as art and how they show America re: its racism, heroic tendencies, greed, love of religion, etc. … Cool stuff. – R. Tirella

Readers' 10 best: Shane

No double standard for captive endangered animals

By Julia Gallucci

Those concerned about the present and future conditions of chimpanzees—humankind’s closest genetic relative—have been given reason to feel optimistic: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently proposed a rule that would, if adopted, finally close a loophole in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations that has allowed these intelligent and social primates to be bought, sold and traded, then harmed, harassed and wounded in captivity.

An immediate benefit of the rule change, if the ESA is properly enforced, would be that chimpanzees could no longer be torn away from their mothers as babies, physically abused and forced to “perform” in television shows, ads and movies.

On the same day that the FWS announced its proposal (and following a vigorous PETA campaign), authorities in Nye County, Nev., voted unanimously to deny notorious exhibitor Mike Casey a permit to keep four chimpanzees in their county when he is not renting them out for use in TV, films, ads and events. Casey has reportedly kicked and punched chimpanzees, struck them with wooden rods and doused them with hot water.

Undercover investigations have documented that the physical abuse of chimpanzee “actors” is a common practice behind the scenes. Systematic abuse causes animals to become perpetually anxious; indeed, the chimpanzee “grin” so often seen in movies and on television is actually a grimace of fear.

With equitable and meaningful ESA enforcement, chimpanzees would also be spared the pain and misery of being imprisoned in laboratories to endure invasive experiments that offer no benefit to their species—or to our own. As the Institute of Medicine (IOM) declared in 2011, “[M]ost current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary.”

Following the landmark IOM report, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed a committee to reassess its support for the use of chimpanzees in experiments. In addition to echoing the findings of the IOM regarding current experiments, it concluded overall that “research involving chimpanzees has rarely accelerated new discoveries or the advancement of human health for infectious diseases.” Last month, the NIH announced that it will cut funding for most invasive biomedical experiments on chimpanzees and grant sanctuary to at least 310 of the 360 federally owned chimpanzees currently imprisoned in laboratories.

In recent experiments funded and conducted by the NIH, chimpanzees were intentionally infected with malaria and fed upon by thousands of mosquitoes placed on their shaved skin. Baby chimpanzees were exposed to norovirus by injection or by forcing liquid filtered from human stool down their throats and then subjected to months of painful biopsies and other invasive procedures. Norovirus and malaria are two of the many disease areas in which the IOM and NIH have determined that the use of chimpanzees is unnecessary, but the experiments continued simply because they had easy access to them. That’s now going to change.

If the FWS rule is implemented and properly enforced, it would also offer vital leverage to efforts already underway to defend other endangered animals against harm and exploitation. It could herald an end to similarly unjustified exemptions from legal protections for other endangered animals held in captivity, including the improper exclusion of Lolita, the sole captive orca at the Miami Seaquarium, from the ESA listing of Southern Resident orcas. The FWS proposal reinforces the petition submitted by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Orca Network to the National Marine Fisheries Service calling for Lolita to receive the same protections as the Southern Resident orca family that she was torn from more than 40 years ago. The unjust exclusion from the safeguards against harm and harassment afforded by the ESA has allowed the Miami Seaquarium to hold Lolita in the smallest orca tank in North America.

The ESA must protect all endangered animals equally—whether they are in captivity or their natural environments—and thankfully, the FWS is finally recognizing this.

RIP, Roger Ebert

By Rosalie Tirella

The guy who got me even MORE excited about movies than some very good movies! Film critic Roger Ebert died this past week. He’s in movie heaven now. Once, when asked which film he would want to watch over and over while frolicking with the bare-assed cherubs, Ebert said CITIZEN KANE. For his eternal movie concession stand treat? HD vanilla icecream.

For me, though I don’t plan on departing any time soon, it would be THE AWFUL TRUTH, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. I don’t much care for movie theater snacks, so I would ask the movie gods for Indian food, vegetarian, of course. Very spice-y!

Here is my favorite scene from Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE, a grand movie made by a 20-something genius who looks beautiful here:


Click here to watch movie clip!

The 10 best movie manhunts

 From The Guardian. – R. Tirella.

The 10 best movie manhunts

As the Osama bin Laden pursuit movie Zero Dark Thirty joins the chase for Oscars, we recall other runaway successes, from the 1935 version of Les Misérables to North by Northwest

Ten Best: Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Sam Peckinpah, 1973
This elegiac western, Peckinpah’s masterpiece, centres on the last doomed days of the 21-year-old Billy Bonney (Kris Kristofferson) in Lincoln County, New Mexico in 1881, and it belongs to a cycle of movies (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch) about decent outlaws pursued to their deaths in a changing west. The action is framed by the murder of Billy’s friend and killer Pat Garrett (James Coburn) 20 years later. We see the story through the eyes of the dying hunter, now the victim of the same corrupt people who hired him to pursue the Kid

to see the other movies, click on link below:


The 11th annual Boston Latino International Film Festival

Opening Film and Reception: 

Thursday, October 25th

Northeastern University

John O’Bryant African-American Institute

40 Leon Street, Northeastern University

Closing Film and Reception:

Sunday, October 28th

Harvard University

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,

The 11th Boston Latino International Film Festival at Harvard University and Northeastern University

Boston – Only America’s biggest and greatest cities host Latino film festivals; Boston is one of such cities. This year the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) will host its 11th annual event which will be filled with four intense days of films, receptions and special events in four days on between October 25th– 28th

BLIFF is a yearly event on it’s 11 edition. Every year we receive between 250 – 300 applying films to our festival. This year BLIFF will be hosted between Oct. 25-28 at Northeastern and Harvard University and will screen a selection of 60 films from 15 Latin American countries.

“The Northeastern community is proud to host this important festival and proud to showcase the beauty, depth, and creativity of Latino/a and Latin American cinema, diversity and culture.” said Professor Alan West-Durán, Director of the Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Northeastern University. Professor West-Duran is also in charge of bringing BLIFF to Northeastern University,

Films will be screened at two different venues: at the John O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University and at the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Prices will be  $10 per program at both locations. ALL FILMS IN SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE WILL BE SUBTITLE IN ENGLISH. Panels, the opening and closing receptions will be free and open.

“Eleven years ago we had an idea to provide the greater Boston community with a high-quality film festival that would capture and highlight the diverse experiences of Latinos in the United States and abroad. Since then, the festival has grown immensely, and support from the community has been phenomenal,” said Jose Barriga, founder and director of the festival.

The Boston Latino International Film Festival is committed to breaking stereotypes and building communities by using the medium of film to strengthen inter-cultural understanding and promote work of independent filmmakers. Over 60 films from over 14 countries will be featured, including the United States, Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Spain and Mexico, among others. All of these films will be premiering in Boston.

BLIFF 2009 is sponsored in part by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, John O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University, Vista Higher Learning, El Planeta, MasTV, TuBoston.com, Heineken, BASE, Hope and Confort, The Association of Mexican Restaurant of New England and Jose’s Mexican Restaurant.


THURSDAY, October 25

Northeastern University

John O’Bryant African-American Institute

40 Leon Street, Northeastern University



Luminaris / Spain / Juan Pablo Zaramella / 2012 / 6min / Short

Long Distance / Cuba / Esteban Insausti / 2010 / 93min / Narrative Feature – Trailer 1 – Trailer 2

9.00 p.m.

The Perfection in your hand / Spain /Guillermo P. Bosch / 10min / Short

Mayan Renaissance / Guatemala / Dawn Engle / 2012 / 68min / Documentary – Trailer


FRIDAY, October 26

Northeastern University

West Village F, Room #20, 2pm -10pm

7.15 p.m. Flamenco Program

Mexico Flamenco / Spain-Mexico / Josep Badell & Carlos Snachez-Llibre / 2012 / 53min / Documentary – Trailer

9.30 p.m.  Spanish Shorts Program

A Story for the Modlins / Sergio Oksman / 26min / Doc – Trailer

That Wasn’t Me / Esteban Crespo / 23min / Fic

The Birth / Xavi Sala / 14min / Fic

The Wedding / Marina Seresesky / 12min / Fic – Trailer

What the eye doesn’t see / Natalia Mateo / 15min / Fic

Prologue / Lucas Figueroa / 8min / Fic

.Sub / Jossie Malis Alvarez / 15min / Fic – Trailer

Zombi / David Moreno /  12min / Fic – Trailer


SATURDAY, October 27

Northeastern University

West Village F, Room #20, 2pm -10pm

1.30 p.m. PANEL (FREE)

Contemporary Cuba: Film and Media

3.00 p.m. Cuban Shorts Program #2

AM / Dariela Minoso / 13min / Fic

Delirio / Alejandro E. Alonso & Lazaro O. Lemus / 8min / Doc

Madre, la tierra / Ernesto Perez / 15min / Doc

Afuera / Vanessa Portieles & Yanelvis Gonzalez / 20min / Fic

La Sasita / Ariagna Fajardo / 19min / Doc


4.30 p.m. International Program

Known Secrets / Honduras / James Joint / 17min

El Rey / US – Central America – Austria / Stefan Lechner / 53min / Documentary – Trailer


6.00 p.m. Immigration Program #1

Underprivileged / USA / Rafael Lanus / 15min

Incommunicado / P. Alberto Sanchez / 9min

Q&A with Director P. Sanchez & Producer Mike Paskett

Admissions / Chloe Smolarski / 50min / Documentary  – Trailer

Q&A with Visiting Director



SATURDAY, October 27

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,

2.00 p.m. International Program

The World Outside / USA / Zachary Kerschberg / 10mi

Q&A with visiting Director

Delivery / Fabien Ortiz / 12 min.

La Mirada Perdida / Argentina / Damian Dionisio / 11min

La Camioneta / Guatemala – USA / Mark Kendall / 72 min / Documentary – Trailer

4.00 p.m. With My Heart In Yambo / Ecuador / 138min / Documentary – Trailer

6.00 p.m. Central American Program

Inside El Porvenir / Honduras- Switzerland / Rainer Hoffmann & Erika Harzer / 2012 / 85min / Documentary

Q&A with Director Rainer Hoffman

Co-Presented by: Swissnex Boston – Consulate of Switzerland – Trailer

SUNDAY, October 28

Harvard University

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,


4.30 p.m.  Arts, Crafts & Local Economies

Banking on Trust / Argentina / LeeAndrea Morton / 38min / Documentary – Trailer

Silvestre Pantaleón / Mexico / Roberto Olivares / 65min /Documentary

6.30 p.m. CLOSING FILM

Esperanza / USA / Michael Martinez / 9min / Fic

Anyone Out There / Brazil / Tiaraju Aronovich / 2012 / 115min / Narrative Feature – BLIFF’s Curator’s 2012 Choice!



I built a Movie Theater – and a Film Festival – and I’d like you to come to it … an invitation

By filmmaker Michael Moore


Here’s something I haven’t spoken much about outside of Michigan, mainly because I live here and I like what modicum of privacy I have in this place I call home and where I try to live a “normal” life. For instance, not a day goes by here where a Republican doesn’t stop and shake my hand. Seriously.

But I think it’s time you guys come here and hang out with me! So consider this your invite to make your way to Traverse City, Michigan, where each summer I hold a film festival that is a favorite for filmmakers all over the world. More on this in a bit.

For the past seven years, in addition to my day job of making movies and writing books, I have spent a significant amount of my time volunteering in the town where I live in northern Michigan. Our state, as you know, has been in a long-term depression (say the word “recession” around here and someone is likely to punch you).

So I decided to devote my time (and resources) to help the area I now call home by getting its long-closed downtown movie palace restored and reopened. Downtown Traverse City was doing better than most Michigan cities – which means that there were “only” five or six stores on our block that were boarded up (or “bombed out”), and the nearby elementary school had “only” 70% of its students qualifying for the federal free lunch program (i.e. they lived near or in poverty).

The local Rotary foundation owned the large, ornate empty theater, which had not shown movies in 20 or so years (a theater has stood on this site for nearly a hundred years). I would often pass by it and think, “What a shame this isn’t open” – but it was no different than any of the hundreds of other downtowns I’ve seen all over America. The locally-owned independent movie theaters were abandoned years ago (how I wish some of you younger than me could have seen a movie in one of these grand rooms!) in favor of corporate chains and indifferent, cookie-cutter multiplexes where one low-paid projectionist runs the projectors for all 14 screens. You can bet that really improves the sound and picture quality of the films being slammed onto those screens – and the pleasurable experience of “goin’ to the movies” has now become just another way to kill some time in between texting and talking to your girlfriend during the show.

The $10 popcorn helped make things better, too.

So I had this epiphany. What would a movie theater look like if it were designed, built and run by the people who actually make the movies? Why are we, the filmmakers, never consulted about what the movie-going experience should be like? After all, that’s our art, our creative work, up there on those screens. In no other art form does the artist NOT have a say in how their art is presented to the public.

I asked the Rotary group to give me the theater for a dollar, and we eventually settled on a dollar. I set up a community-based non-profit organization that would own the theater. Four others and I donated all the money needed to bring the theater back to life. I promised that we’d complete the entire rebuild in 6 weeks. And we did. Hundreds of people pitched in to hammer nails and make curtains – and the new “Historic State Theatre of Traverse City” was opened in 2007 with its 584 brand new made-in-Michigan seats, the biggest screen within 150 miles, a state-of-the-art sound system, a big new balcony built from scratch, a complete restoration of the 1940s art-deco décor, and a concession stand where you could get drinks and popcorn for just $2.00. I, as the theater’s chair and volunteer programmer, promised to bring “just great movies,” especially those movies that never make it to areas like northern Michigan.

Since our grand reopening, the State Theatre has been one of the largest-grossing independent art houses in North America. We have landed in the top ten highest-grossing theaters for a total now of 138 weeks. And, get this – for 62 of those weeks, we were the #1 theater in the country for the film we were showing during each of those weeks. This success has happened while movie attendance nationwide has dropped in the last decade – and with us, it has happened in a depressed state and in a rural, somewhat politically conservative area where the nearest four-year college is 100 miles away.

I am going to make an audacious (but true) claim: You will not walk into a nicer, friendlier, better movie theater anywhere in the U.S. than the State Theatre of Traverse City. I’m not kidding. When you leave you’ll want to know why every movie-going experience can’t be like this one.

How have we done it?

1. We have no desire to make a profit (e.g., you will never see a commercial before a movie). All decisions are based on what’s best for the patrons and the community and the art of cinema. We do not share the cynical attitude of the cineplex owners when they say, “We make our real money on the popcorn!” We, instead, make the money we need to run the State by simply showing only good movies. We’ve spent every day in the black for our entire 5 years.

2. We are a mostly volunteer-run operation. Hundreds of people work a shift or two a month to ensure the nonprofit theater’s existence. This theater is essentially owned and run by its stakeholders – the citizens of the area. Everyone has a vested interest in its success.

3. If we catch you texting, checking your email, or talking on your cell phone during the movie, you will be banned from the theater for life.

Now, back to the reason I want you to come to Traverse City in a few weeks. Two years before my neighbors and I got the State re-opened, I started a film festival in Traverse City called, naturally, the “Traverse City Film Festival.” It is now in its eighth year – and I would like to invite you to come here this summer and experience It. It will be unlike anything else you’ve done. During the six days of the festival I’ll be showing a great mix of fiction, nonfiction and foreign films I’ve discovered in the past year – 91 of them in all. In 2011, the combined attendance at all of our festival movies was 128,000! The whole event takes place in this small town that sits on a beautiful bay that’s part of Lake Michigan. Tickets are cheap, and many events – like the nightly outdoor films we show on a 100-foot screen by the water – are free. You can park your car and walk (or take the free shuttle bus) to any of the 5 indoor venues. This includes the State Theatre and the four other historic buildings that we turn into first-class movie houses. Over half of the films will have their director or stars appearing in person. This year, we are proud to have with us Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon and the legendary German director Wim Wenders, among many others.

This summer’s festival runs from Tuesday, July 31st through Sunday, August 5th. Tickets to the public go on sale next Saturday (but if you join the “Friends of the Festival” you can buy your tickets starting today [Sunday]).

So, come see me in Traverse City! I promise, you won’t regret it, you’ll have a great time, you’ll see some fantastic movies, and you’ll meet a lot of good people.

And you’ll see what an old-school movie theater and a popular film festival have done to pump millions of dollars into the local economy. There are no more boarded-up stores on our block, and we now are helping and advising other Michigan cities about re-opening their historic movie palaces.

It’s a little story I’ve wanted to share with you for some time, and now I have.

See you in TC!