By JODEE TAYLOR
TRAVERSE CITY — Susan Sarandon is coming to this year's Traverse City Film Festival.
She'll be here July 31 and Aug. 1 and festival organizers are rescheduling movies and panels to accommodate her. The Midwestern premiere of Sarandon's latest movie, "Robot and Frank," will be at the State Theatre Aug. 1 at 3 p.m.
"Thelma and Louise" will be shown at noon that day at the City Opera House.
Sarandon interviewed festival founder Michael Moore at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Afterwards, Moore said, he told her about the Traverse City Film Festival.
"She hadn't heard of it," Moore said, "and she said, 'Wow, can I come?' Uh, absolutely."
They'll reverse roles for a free panel session in Traverse City, Moore said, scheduled for Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the City Opera House. He said he'll talk movies and politics with the actress, whose first movie was made in 1970, and who is known for her activism.
"I first met her the day before I won the Oscar in 2003," Moore said. She invited Moore to dinner in her hotel suite — with George Clooney, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Eddie Vedder and Gore Vidal.
Moore told them he didn't have a speech prepared and the group offered up their own suggestions, none of which Moore used.
"I could have saved myself a lot of grief," laughed Moore, who criticized then-President George W. Bush in his acceptance speech.
Sarandon won an Oscar in 1995 for her role as a nun in "Dead Man Walking." She's starred in, worked on or in more than 100 films and TV shows.
"We had a 24-hour window," Moore said.
Sarandon will be honored at the opening night movie and will attend the opening night party, said Deb Lake, film festival executive director. A midnight showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is planned for later in the week, Lake said.