Traverse City Film Festival ending after nearly 20-year-run

Festival first started in 2005

Traverse City Film Festival (Traverse City Film Festival)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – After nearly two decades delighting fans of the cinema, the Traverse City Film Festival is coming to a close.

The festival’s founder, Michael Moore, told supporters on Tuesday that the festival wouldn’t be returning. The email was obtained by UpNorthLive:

“After nearly 20 years of presenting one of the best film festivals in the country, bringing the top filmmakers in the world here to our wonderful little town by the bay, sharing all of this with incredible audiences, volunteers and donors, surviving the pandemic when many local businesses couldn’t —and then having one of our best festivals ever last summer where we finally broke even for the first time in years — we’ve decided, after much heartfelt discussion, that it’s best to close this era of the film fest now while we’re ahead, no longer in debt, and go out on top with many years of fond memories that we will all collectively cherish for the rest of our lives.”

“So, with that assessment, and a hopeful eye to the future, as each of us move on to other urgent projects that are necessary for the times we find ourselves in, we now echo the words of the great George Harrison that “all things must pass,” and bid a loving and fond farewell to the Traverse City Film Festival of old that we all knew and loved so well and move forward to our next phase. We have voted unanimously to bring this incredible, moving and exhilarating endeavor to a sweet and graceful conclusion for now — the end of an era and the beginning of a new mission,” the email read.

The festival was typically held in late July into early August, bringing films and filmmakers from around the world to Northern Michigan.

The festival was founded in 2005 by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. Emmy winner Jeff Daniels served on the Board of Directors for the event.

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Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.