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Susan Sarandon to be Honored at Traverse City Film Festival

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Susan Sarandon in 2011 | UPI

I’m excited to announce that Susan Sarandon will be attending the 8th Annual Traverse City Film Festival scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 5, 2012. She’s had such an impact on not only the film industry — she counts Bull Durham, Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the recent quirky comedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home among her credits — but also for her tireless activism work.

Sarandon is noted for her support of progressive political causes and human rights issues, ranging from being a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to  co-chairing Ralph Nader‘s National Steering Committee in 2000 to opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq to joining Occupy Wall Street protesters over the past year.

But there’s fun and games in there, too. Did you know Sarandon is the co-owner of the New York table tennis club SPiN? Yep, she’s a ping-pong girl!

Susan Sarandon in Jeff, Who Lives at Home | Paramount

Now she can add one more thing to her credits: honorary chair of the 8th Annual Traverse City Film Festival. She’ll accept her award from the stage of the Opening Night Movie Searching for Sugar Man at the State Theatre on Tues., July 31, at 6 p.m. She’ll also be at the Opening Night Party in the middle of Front Street. Here’s a rundown on where you can find her that week…

WED., AUG. 1:

9:30 a.m., City Opera House: One on One with Michael Moore. “Susan interviewed me on the stage of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival,” wrote Moore in an email this morning. “Now it’s my chance to turn the tables on her! Don’t miss this provocative discussion—we won’t hold anything back. Come hear the true tales of how Hollywood works. We might also talk some politics during our first free morning panel of the festival.”

12 noon, City Opera House: [amazon_link id=”B004GGQMTW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Thelma & Louise[/amazon_link]. Sarandon will introduce the film and take questions after the screening of this modern-day classic.

3 p.m., State Theatre: Robot & Frank – Midwestern Premiere. Sarandon will present her latest work, a charming crowd pleaser that also stars Frank Langella, Liv Tyler and Peter Sarsgaard.

6 p.m., Private Dinner to Honor Sarandon. Limited seating. Fundraiser tickets are $300. Email the Film Fest for details.

FRIDAY, AUG. 3:

Midnight, Old Town Playhouse: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. THE cult film of all cult films, and an early starring role for Susan Sarandon. The Old Town players will “participate.”

Other scheduling changes for this year’s film fest: 

Shorts – Fiction 1 is moving to the City Opera House on Saturday, Aug. 4, 12 noon. This shorts program will take the spot of Jeff Garlin’s Gem Soldier in the Rain, which has been rescheduled for the next TCFF. Jeff sends his regrets that he won’t be in Traverse City this summer as planned, but there will be an announcement soon about his next visit to Traverse City – in February.

The Kid with a Bike at the State Theatre on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 3 p.m. has been cancelled to accommodate the new screenings, but you can still see this film on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Lars Hockstad Auditorium.

Michael Moore’s film school session on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 12 noon, Secrets of Making a Blockbuster Documentary, will instead be taught by Jeff Gibbs, who has worked with Moore on many films. Moore will look forward to teaching a film school session next year.

Film Fest Tickets go on sale to the Friends of the Film Festival tomorrow, July 15. The box office – located at 125 Park Street across from the Park Place Hotel (new location!) – opens at 11 am and online ticketing opens at 6 p.m. There will also be a small number of phone lines open at 11 a.m. for sales – call 231-929-FILM (3456). There’s still time to sign up to be a Friend and get early access to tickets. Join online at www.traversecityfilmfest.org.

Follow the Traverse City Film Festival on Twitter @TCFF and Facebook.

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more. Follow her on Twitter at @reellifejane.

Jane Boursaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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