12th Annual Traverse City Film Festival Announces Annual Bumper Contest with Cash Prizes

Meg Weichman
Traverse City Film Festival



TRAVERSE CITY, MI, April 7, 2016 – The world-renowned Traverse City Film Festival, founded by Academy Award-winning director and festival president Michael Moore and home to the MPAA named #1 in the world State Theatre, will return to downtown Traverse City this July 26-31 for another six-day cinema extravaganza.

To kick off the festivities, the festival is encouraging filmmakers of all ages and experience levels to share their talent as we get ready to celebrate not only “Just Great Movies,” and the incredible Traverse City community that makes it all possible.

The Traverse City Film Festival and its 12-year sponsor FIM Group invite submissions to the seventh annual TCFF Bumper Contest for a chance to win cash prizes, including a Grand Prize of $1,000.

A wonderful opportunity for aspiring and enthusiastic filmmakers looking to strut their stuff, bumpers are 20 to 60 second short films designed to play before festival feature presentations. The top bumpers submitted to the contest will be shown on screen during the 12th Annual Traverse City Film Festival and the very best will be eligible for cash prizes, including the $1,000 Grand Prize.

Past winners of the Grand Prize include last year’s “Decision Time” by Claire Holloway; 2014’s “Homemade” by Colin Campbell; 2013’s “Paper Cut” by John Paul Morris; 2012’s “2012 A TC Odyssey” by Lesley Alicia Tye, Colin Campbell, Ellyn Church and Anthony Penta; 2011’s “Big Light” by John Paul Morris; and 2010’s “Why Traverse City” by Joe Carter.

While submissions are not limited to specific themes, this year the festival is particularly interested in:

  • 100 years of movies at the State Theatre (the State turns 100 this July!)
  • The festival attendee experience
  • What’s special about the TCFF

For filmmakers wanting to improve their odds, the festival offers these tips for standing out, based on past winners:

  • Tell a story. Narratives are usually more engaging than artistic shots or promotional ideas alone.
  • Humor, animation, and parodies of famous films have all been especially successful.
  • Production values count! Make sure your great idea can be seen and heard.

The film festival audience is diverse, so humor and references should be accessible. Keep the pacing fast and tight, and pay careful attention to lighting and sound clarity. And of course, have fun and entertain us! You can check out all of last year’s winners here.

Winners will be contacted after the jury makes their decisions, and will be announced in late July.

Entries can be submitted via email by June 29, 2016 to bumpers@tcff.org or DVDs/drives can be sent to TCFF Bumpers, PO Box 4064, Traverse City MI 49685.

For complete details about the contest, including the fine print, visit tcff.org/bumpers.

About FIM Group

FIM Group has been assisting clients in achieving financial success for more than 25 years. As a pioneer in the fee-only wealth advisory industry, FIM Group currently manages in excess of $500 million in client assets. With a team of more than 30 professionals dedicated to making the client experience as rewarding and fulfilling as possible, FIM Group is one of the largest independent investment managers in Northern Michigan. Additional information is available at fimg.net.

About the Traverse City Film Festival

The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to the idea that “One Great Movie Can Change You: Just Great Movies” and to helping save one of America’s few indigenous art forms – the cinema. The festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan for the annual film festival in late July to early August.

It was instrumental in renovating a shuttered historic downtown movie house, the State Theatre, which it continues to own and operate as a year-round, community-based, and volunteer-staffed art house movie theater. The festival also renovated the historic Con Foster Museum building in Clinch Park and turned it into a sister screen for the State Theatre, the Bijou by the Bay.

The festival was founded by Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore who makes his home here, runs the festival, and serves as president of the board of directors. Other board members are filmmakers Rod Birleson (producer, “Capitalism: A Love Story”), Larry Charles (director, “Borat”), Terry George (director, “Hotel Rwanda”), Jeff Daniels (actor, “The Newsroom”), Tom Morello (musician, Rage Against the Machine), Christine Lahti (actor, “Running on Empty”), Mark Cousins (director, “The Story of Film: An Odyssey”), Tia Lessin (director, “Trouble the Water”), as well as Traverse City residents photographer John Robert Williams and former Walt Disney Co. marketing executive Penny Milliken.