Why did Michael Moore Pull The Plug On This Iconic Michigan Film Festival?
The Traverse City Film Festival has been going on for 20 years, and it's arguably at the height of it's existence. But, this week supporters of the Festival found out that it wouldn't be happening in 2023, or ever again.
The festival started back in 2005 and ran yearly until 2020 and 2021, when it had to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. But, after a year back (and taking a $1 million dollar grant to bring it back to life after the pandemic) they've decided it's time for it to end.
Why is the Traverse City Film Festival no longer happening?
In an email to supporters of the Festival, Michael Moore says the decision to end this Michigan staple wasn't easy.
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
While, I understand WHY, it's still a bummer to see something so unique and special to Michigan come to an end before anyone asked for it to. But, then again, you can't blame him for wanting to cash out while he's ahead.
There is a little bit of a silver lining to this problem, the festival still plans to support independent theatres in the area. The Traverse City Film Festival plans to continue to support two theaters used in the festival, Bijou by the Bay and the State Theater.
It's disappointing to see it end, especially after taking grant money to get ahead, but we can at least be happy about the legacy and opportunity it brought to the state while it was running.
And who knows, maybe someone else will pick up the torch and start a new one in 2024.