Meg Weichman
Traverse City Film Festival



TRAVERSE CITY, MI, June 10, 2015 – Now in its eleventh 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 28- August 2 for another six-day cinematic wonderland. 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 131,000 admissions at last year’s 10th Anniversary edition.

Preparations are underway for the 11th installment, with announcements about new events, activities, and premieres coming soon. To kick off the festivities, the festival is encouraging budding filmmakers to share their talent 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 11-year sponsor, FIM Group, invite filmmakers of all ages to submit to the sixth 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, and a great summer vacation project, 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 11th 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 “Homemade” by Colin Campbell; 2014’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 — it’s beauty and movie savvy. Let your imagination run wild.

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 July 8, 2014 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 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, ” he 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.