The Ultimate Guide to the 2022 Traverse City Film Festival

In addition to award-winning films from around the world, four films featured at this year’s TCFF were made in Michigan!

DocumentaryEli: a dog in prison takes viewers inside Michigan’s Macomb Correctional Facility as three inmates train feisty pup Eli to become a guide dog, revealing the institutional problems of the US prison system and the hope that manages to flourish within it. Following Tuesday’s screening, there will be a Q&A panel with director and former TCFF Jason Kohl and other guests. For full details and ticket information, head to the film’s page on the TCFF website.

In a captivating documentary, bad ax chronicles the true stories of an Asian-American family, the Sievs, from 2020, struggling to operate their restaurant in conservative Michigan. As they face fears of an international pandemic, the Sievs also face radicalization from COVID-19, xenophobic bigotry and reminders of their ancestors’ involvement in Cambodia’s Killing Fields. Director David Siev will be present at the screenings, more information about which you can find on the film’s page on the TCFF website.

Discover the true story of a Michigan man smuggling and selling rare PEZ candy dispensers for thousands of dollars by The PEZ Outlaw. Convincing beyond its initial shock factor, The PEZ Outlaw is a lighthearted crime documentary that invites viewers to rethink how they make sense of their lives. After the screenings, there will be Q&As and panel discussions with directors Bryan Storkel and Amy Brandlien. Find more information on the film’s page on the TCFF website.

An adventure comedy that puts into humor the questions of life and love that millennials face, Quicksands was filmed in Traverse City and follows two friends as they go on a life-and-death mission to retrieve their best friend’s missing wedding ring in time for the big day. A Q&A will be held with director John Paul Morris and producers Chris Loud and Nick Loud following the screenings. For more, visit the film’s page on the TCFF website.

Gerald R. Schneider