Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 8, 2014

Five new faces join TC Film Festival board

TRAVERSE CITY — A star-studded roster of new board members joined the Traverse City Film Festival for its 10th season.

Film Festival officials on Wednesday announced a lineup of new board members which, when combined with six incumbent members, grew the board to 11. The five new members include stars like Emmy Award-winning actor Jeff Daniels and Grammy Award-winning musician Tom Morello.

”We thought it was time to expand the board,” said Michael Moore, president of the Film Festival’s board. Moore doesn’t expect to push the board beyond its new 11-member count.

The volunteer board expanded three times in 10 years, said Deb Lake, the Film Festival’s executive director.

Also on the list of new members are Mark Cousins, an Irish-born film critic and director, and Tia Lessin, an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker who produced and directed “Trouble the Water.”

The list also adds Traverse City representation with the appointment of Penny Milliken.

Italian filmmaker and actress Sabina Guzzanti ended her term on the festival’s board with the appointment of new members. One member each year will rotate off the board to provide fresh leadership.

The expansion augments the festival’s growth into a position of national and international importance in the film industry, Moore said.

Two of the festival’s three founders still hold positions on the board — Moore and Traverse City commercial photographer John Robert Williams — but the governing body’s makeup continues to shift toward more national and international representation.

”Those big names can make calls to filmmakers and say ‘Hey, bring your film to Traverse City,’” Moore said. “That will only help us reach out to more people.”

The addition of a career musician like Morello — founder and member of the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and The Nightwatchman — might seem counter-intuitive, but it necessarily broadens the audience appeal the board represents, Moore said.

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