Lily Tomlin to be honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from Traverse City Film Festival

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Lily Tomlin

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – Lily Tomlin, an Oscar-nominated actor, trailblazing comedian and Detroit native, will be honored with the Traverse City Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award later this summer.

Michael Moore, Oscar-winning filmmaker and Traverse City Film Festival founder and president, recently announced that the award will be presented to Tomlin during the festival’s 15th annual edition, running July 30 to Aug. 4 along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in Traverse City.

Jane Fonda, Tomlin’s co-star in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” as well as in the iconic 1980 film “9 to 5,” received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, according to a news release.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Cinema Saves the World.”

The festival will host an Aug. 2 screening of the rarely-seen 1986 documentary “Lily Tomlin,” which goes behind the scenes of Tomlin’s Tony-winning play, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.”  With her longtime collaborator and director, Jane Wagner, Tomlin tackles a variety of topics such as radical feminism, depression, sex work and homelessness with her signature comedic satire and grace. Following her across all aspects of her process (writing, performing, and refining), directors Joan Churchill and Nick Broomfield capture an intimate look at a renowned talent at work. The festival will host the first screening of the newly digital restored documentary, according to the news release.

During “A Conversation with Lily Tomlin” on Aug. 3, Tomlin will engage with Michael Moore for 90 minutes on the stage of the historic State Theatre.

“We are thrilled to have Lily Tomlin join us on the 15th anniversary of our festival. As a native Detroiter, she helped to define American comedy in the 20th century,” said Moore in a statement. “We are proud to present her with our annual Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Tomlin will be invited to add her handprints and signature to the festival’s Walk of Fame  joining luminaries and stars including Madonna, Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, Oscar winner Christine Lahti, Dick Gregory, Matthew Modine, Kristen Bell and others.

From her start on the groundbreaking “Laugh-In,” through her Oscar-nominated turn in “Nashville” and her memorable role in the feminist mainstay “9 to 5” to finding streaming success with “Grace and Frankie,” the Detroit-born start has shown the world what it is to be a legendary performer and humanitarian. In 2015, Tomlin starred in Paul Weitz’s film “Grandma,” which the director said was inspired by Tomlin. That critically acclaimed film earned Tomlin a Golden Globe Award nomination.


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