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Traverse City Film Festival receives federal COVID relief funds

Movie Theater by roeyahram is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

The Traverse City Film Festival has received nearly a million dollars to help restart its two movie theaters and continue its annual film festival.

The international festival attracts film makers from around the world, bringing in 20 million dollars for the local economy and supporting two movie theaters.

But since the pandemic hit Michigan, the iconic theaters have been closed.

Behind the scenes the organization struggled with debt, internal disputes and infrastructure problems.

The festivals’ founder, filmmaker Michael Moore says, without COVID relief, the organization may have folded.

“This million dollar grant from our federal government has literally saved the Traverse City Film Fest and our theaters.”

Moore says they avoided total shutdown because of community members who chipped in to cover their bills.