Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Successful Year for the TC Film Festival

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By Doctor

The sixth annual Traverse City Film Festival concluded on Sunday, August 1, and event organizers have announced that it was "another groundbreaking year with more movies, more tickets, more admissions and more screenings."

This year the festival attracted over 106,000 admissions at screenings of 80 features and 40 short films from 30 countries over six days from July 27 through August 1.

Let us kow if you attended the festival. More information about the festival after the jump.
Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to find myself back in Traverse City during the film festival and was able to catch the free outdoor screening of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Open Space. I've been to a number of outdoor film screenings across the DC area, but none have come close to watching a film on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. This year the Open Space line-up included Twister, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Founded by filmmaker Michael Moore, the Film Festival has grown exponentially in the last few years and
been a tremendous success in attracting filmmakers and fans each year in the thousands to the beautiful Northern Michigan town.

One of the biggest success stories surrounding the Film Festival has been the renovation and rebirth of the State Theater in downtown Traverse City. Sitting unused int he heart of downtown Traverse City since 1996, the theater began to see use again in 2005 as a venue for the film festival. The State Theater was refurbished and opened in 2007 as a full-time movie house and has since been one of the most profitable theaters in the country.

Now Moore has plans to duplicate the success of the State Theater to revitalize other downtown theaters across Michigan. Moore announced his "State Theater Project" at the Film Festival this year and intends to begin dispering seed grants in 2011.

The funds for the project will not come from Moore's pockets, but from the generous tax rebates Moore will receive from filming his last film, Capitalism: A Love Story, in Michigan. This is an important disctinction as the  Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out because Moore is essentially using Michigan tax dollars to support his personal philanthropy.

The Mackinac Center does make a good point, but the state legislator did vote to provide the film tax rebates and as long as the rebates remain it is better to see the rebates remain in the state. Hopefully the State Theater Project will be able to generate success stories similar to Traverse City.

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