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Mike's Letter

June 29, 2021

Federal Gov't to the TC Rescue!
Traverse City Film Festival
Receives Much-Needed
Covid-Relief Grant

State Theatre photo

Contact: Michael Moore

As part of a $16.5 billion relief bill passed by Congress to help thousands of shuttered movie theaters, playhouses, museums and music venues across the country, the nonprofit Traverse City Film Festival has received a nearly $1 million grant to help restart its two movie theaters and continue its annual film festival.

"We just got the official notice and it's the best news we've received in the last year and a half," said TCFF founder and president, filmmaker Michael Moore. "Our entire mission of showing Just Great Movies is based on community support. Had not hundreds of supporters stepped forward during this pandemic to keep us from going under, we would not be here today to receive this incredible news. During the shutdown, 20 generous individuals and families each sponsored a month of expenses. Hundreds of others chipped in $5, $10, $50 to help pay down existing bills. Nothing short of amazing. I love this community!"

TCFF has an annual budget of about $3 million for its summer festival and its two year-round cinemas — the State Theatre and Bijou By The Bay. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 film festivals were canceled and both theaters have been shut down.

"This $933,000 grant will go a long way to helping us get back on our feet." said Moore. "There are significant restrictions on what we can spend it on, but frankly, it is a god-send. With this grant, and the ongoing support of our community, we'll make it.

"There are so many people to thank for getting us to this milestone." Moore added. "I am grateful to Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee and his staff for advice and assistance, to our incredible TCFF board who have worked tirelessly over the past year to save our beloved theaters and festival, to Terry Carrithers, our volunteer fundraiser for the last 16 years, and our many other generous supporters and donors."

The Traverse City Film Festival board includes Traverse City resident and Oscar-winner Michael Moore; longtime TCFF volunteer and local resident David Poinsett; local attorney George Powell; attorney, film producer and former TC resident Anne Moore; and Michigan-based filmmaker and educator Rod Birleson.

TCFF's Artist Advisory Board includes Oscar-winners Christine Lahti and Terry George, Emmy-winners Jeff Daniels and Larry Charles, Grammy winner Tom Morello, and Peabody Award winner Mark Cousins.

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