TRAVERSE CITY, MI, April 16, 2014 — Now in its tenth year, the world-renowned Traverse City Film Festival, home to the #1 in the world State Theatre, will return to downtown Traverse City this July 29 – August 3 for what promises to be a festival unlike any other. Academy Award-winning director and festival president Michael Moore started the festival in 2005 in an effort to showcase films that may have been overlooked but deserve the attention of a public starved to see a great movie.

The film festival has grown and changed dynamically over the years to become one of the most respected film festivals in the country, earning an impeccable reputation that has attracted film lovers and filmmakers from around the world with over 120,000 admissions just this last year.

Preparations are well underway for the 10th Anniversary celebration, with announcements about new events and activities coming soon. To kick off the festivities, the festival is encouraging budding filmmakers, film fans, and our incredible volunteers to share their stories, talent, and input as we get ready to celebrate not only “just great movies,” but also the incredible Traverse City community that makes it all possible.

The Traverse City Film Festival and its 10-year sponsor, FIM Group, invite filmmakers of all ages to submit to the fifth annual TCFF Bumper Contest for a chance to win cash prizes, including a Grand Prize of $1,000.

A wonderful opportunity for aspiring filmmakers, and a great summer vacation project, bumpers are 20 to 60 second short films designed to play before feature presentations. The top bumpers submitted to the contest will be shown on screen during the 10th Anniversary 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 “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.

The festival is looking for creative and fun pieces that capture the spirit of both the festival and Traverse City. And in this, our 10th year, special attention can be paid to the history, growth, and change of the festival — but not necessarily so. Let your imagination run wild.

The film festival audience is diverse, so humor and references should be accessible. Keep the pacing fast, 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 July 9, 2014 to or DVDs can be sent to TCFF Bumpers, PO Box 4064, Traverse City MI 49685.

For complete details about the contest, including the fine print, go to

The Traverse City Film Festival’s annual People’s Choice Night returns to Open Space Park on the Bay this summer in the free movie series offered nightly at our magical outdoor movie theater under the stars.

This year’s Open Space line-up will bring back the most popular Open Space films of 2005-2013 for you to experience again (or for the first time) — and YOU will get to choose the film that shows on Friday night from a list of all-time favorite Open Space titles. This year’s choices include “Jurassic Park,” “The Goonies,” “Raising Arizona,” “Back to the Future,” and “Twister.”

The winning film will be shown on our giant 65-foot inflatable screen set against the beautiful Traverse City bayfront and will be a highlight of our Best of Open Space 10th Anniversary line-up.

The festival’s gift to the community, these free family films will show nightly Tuesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 3, at dusk (approx. 9:30 pm). Music, entertainment, and fun begins at 7 pm and the free community-wide Closing Night Bash will return to the Open Space on Sunday, August 3.

The People’s Choice movie, along with all Open Space films to be shown at this year’s festival, will be announced later this June. Open Space Park, on the corner of Union St. and Grandview Parkway, is one of Traverse City’s most beautiful and versatile public gathering spaces — an ideal venue to enjoy an outdoor movie as well as the very best summertime fun northern Michigan has to offer.

The Traverse City Film Festival seeks members of our valued volunteer and filmgoing family to share memories, stories, insights, and reminiscences from the past nine festivals in preparation for this year’s 10th Anniversary celebration. We want to hear what you love about the festival and why you have participated for the past 10 years.

If you have a funny or interesting story about something you saw or heard at the festival, something that moved you, made you laugh, think, or cry, or an observation about how the festival has changed since 2005, please drop us a line at with your name, your history with the festival, and a short version of your story. We will follow up with as many people as we can to capture recollections on camera and you may be quoted in festival materials including the program guide and website.

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. Just this past year, the festival 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 Walt Disney Co. marketing executive Penny Milliken.