Make a Bumper, Win $1,000 – TCFF & FIM Group Bumper Contest

FIM Group, in conjunction with the Traverse City Film Festival, is sponsoring a 2013 Bumper Contest. (Bumpers are short films that play before feature films.) Here’s an opportunity for filmmakers of all ages to strut their movie-making mojo by creating a short film on any theme, made to play before TCFF films.

Sponsored by:

Top prize is $1,000! Plus, all winning bumpers will be shown before feature films during the 2013 Traverse City Film Festival.

So for all you aspiring filmmakers who love Traverse City, here’s your chance to shine. Dust off the steady cam, oil up the boom stands and get that casting couch ready because the deadline for submissions is July 10, 2013. Read more

You Know What’s Coming! A Special Note from Michael Moore


It’s film festival time!

Last night I chose the final film for this year’s Traverse City Film Festival. It’s called “The World is Ours,” a Spanish comedy that is best described as “Dumb and Dumber” meets “Dog Day Afternoon.” It’s a gem of a film, and the kind which rarely makes it to these shores. This is true for most of the great foreign films we’re bringing this year. What a thrill it is to discover a great romantic comedy from South Korea, or a World War II thriller from Holland, or one of the best Shakespeare films I’ve seen — filmed at a guy’s house (with his friends) in L.A.!

Then there’s the slew of great new documentaries we’ll being bringing to TC. These are exceptional films which will challenge conventional wisdom and take you everywhere from remote Greenland to a small Kurdish village that is experiencing its first “movie theater.”

It’s an amazing line up (we’ll announce the whole schedule in about 10 days). And we’d like to ask you to contribute to the schedule by voting for our annual People’s Choice film in Open Space. Click here to vote for the film we’ll show in our free outdoor venue on Saturday night — deadline for voting is Monday, July 1.

The festival runs from July 30 through August 4. This will be our ninth year — and to celebrate, we will christen our brand new year-round theater, the Bijou. We are busy seven days a week building it, and we are half-way to achieving our fundraising goal in order to complete the project in time for the festival’s opening day. I went ahead — as I did with the State Theatre — and started construction before all the donations were in. I’m a big believer in the “If you build it, they will help you finish it” line of thinking. Don’t prove me wrong! Please give whatever you can to this nonprofit movie house on the beach.

If you are a Friend of the Film Festival, ticket sales begin for you on Sunday, July 14. Tickets to the general public go on sale Saturday, July 20. All prices remain the same this year, and we have a very special film for you on opening night. There’s lots more to tell, and I’ll do that next week. For now, start making your plans to come to Traverse City. We’ve already started making you some fudge and cherry pies. (If you’re already from TC, step away from the fudge and go for a walk with me!)

Michael Moore

P.S. Our Sustaining Sponsor FIM Group is once again sponsoring the TCFF bumper/trailer contest, and the grand prize is $1,000. Aspiring filmmakers, here’s the chance to see your little one minute short up on the big screen — check out the details here!

DISCOVER the Bijou by the Bay

We at the Traverse City Film Festival are going to open a SECOND year-round movie theater in downtown Traverse City! And we need your help. The City Commission has granted us permission to renovate and bring back to life the 80-year-old (and long-vacant) Con Foster Museum, which sits behind the State Theatre on the beach in Clinch Park.

We will restore the Con Foster — originally built by President Roosevelt’s Civil Works Administration — with the same loving care and with the same team that resurrected the State Theatre in 2007. Because it sits on the shores of our beautiful Grand Traverse Bay, we have decided to call this new theater the “Bijou by the Bay.” The Bijou (pronounced “BE-zhu,” the French word for “gem”) was a popular name for movie theaters in the 1930s and ’40s and we think it fits this new venue quite well.

The Bijou by the Bay will be a unique and wonderful place to see a great movie, and we plan to have our Grand Opening on July 29 — the night before the beginning of this year’s Traverse City Film Festival!

When we wanted to restore the State Theatre, Buzz Wilson and his family were the “angels” who wrote the first check. The Milock family, myself, Kathleen Glynn, and four others joined in as matching angels, and the community brought us to the finish line by sponsoring seats and becoming members of our new theater. We did not use any tax dollars and we did not run a big fundraising campaign.

Today, in order to bring this new theater to life, Richard and Diana Milock have remarkably stepped forward again to be our main financial angel. They have written a donation check of a quarter million dollars! This alone will cover one-third of the costs of the renovation.

And now, in order to pay for the other two-thirds of bringing to life this beautiful theater on the water, we are going to need help from you! Click the button below to learn more about the Bijou by the Bay and help TCFF create a stunning new venue for film in Traverse City!


A Song to Cinema ~ TCFF 2012

During an amazing week of Just Great Movies at the 2012 Traverse City Film Festival, The Treefort Collective talked to several filmmakers about how they fell in love with the cinema, how it captured their imaginations and why watching a film on the big screen is such a special experience.

Featuring Academy Award Winner Michael Moore, 2 time Academy Award Nominee Wim Wenders, Academy Award Winner Terry George, 3 time Academy Award Nominee Julia Reichert, Mark Cousins, Ira Deutchman and Brian Knappenberger. Watch below or click for HD viewing on YouTube.