Traverse City News and Events

TCFF Launches “Virtual State” Theatre

By Beth Milligan | Dec. 23, 2020

The Traverse City Film Festival is bringing back virtual screenings - an option it launched early in the pandemic, but later discontinued - through a new “Virtual State” platform offered in partnership with other art houses across the country.

TCFF Founder Michael Moore announced Wednesday night that he will curate The Virtual State by “finding and obtaining the best movies from around the world.” Every Friday, TCFF will offer one to three films that can be rented and streamed on any device. TCFF Members can rent the films for 50 percent off the full ticket price, which is $12. According to Moore, anyone who paid dues in 2019 or 2020 as a Friend of TCFF or Member of the State and Bijou theaters will have a free extended membership to The Virtual State until the theaters or festival return.

“To produce this state-of-the-art technology, we have joined into a co-op of sorts with a dozen other art houses across the country, including the Film Forum in New York City, the Roxy in San Francisco, the Music Box in Chicago, and the Coolidge Corner in Boston,” Moore wrote. “All of this has been organized by the good people of the nonprofit Salt Lake Film Society. All co-op theaters have agreed to charge $12 for a full price ticket — but if you’re a member of ours here in TC (or wherever you live), you only pay $6 a film with your member discount code. Two dollars of that ticket goes to the co-op to pay all the streaming costs, and the remaining $4 is split between TCFF and the filmmaker/distributor. As you can see, this isn’t a big fundraising endeavor. But what it is — it’s a chance for all of us to watch the movies together again! For me, that’s worth it.

Moore said that this week’s films include a thriller from Norway, a feminist foodie comedy from England, a drama about a single mom and her 8-year old son from Kalamazoo on a trip to upstate New York, and two documentaries — one about a mayor in Palestine and the other about Frank Zappa and how he intersected politics and art. “Next week, I’ll bring you films from Italy and Denmark. Every Friday something new, something fresh, always entertaining and occasionally challenging,” Moore wrote, adding that TCFF will soon offer online conversations and filmmaker Q&As.

The festival has a help line at 231-224-6212 for those who have questions or need assistance signing up for the streaming platform.

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