Traverse City Film Festival

One Great Movie Can Change You!

"The Traverse City Film Festival is committed to showing 'Just Great Movies' and helping to save one of America's few indigenous art forms - the cinema. We are committed to showing great movies that both entertain and enlighten the audience. We need movies that seek to enrich the human spirit and the art of filmmaking, not the bottom line. Our goal is for people to leave the theater with the feeling that they just watched something special."

– Michael Moore, President and Founder


CMU's College of the Arts and Media is excited to participate in the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) as the Creative Action Partner.  Please join us to enjoy films from all over the world shown at fabulous venues around Traverse City.  

This year's festival takes place July 30 – August 4, 2019.  Make plans for a week of fun, connecting with other CMU alumni and seeing first-hand the accomplishments of our students and faculty while enjoying all that Traverse City has to offer.  

Some of the CMU events taking place during the festival: 


Sunday, July 28th Special Pre-Festival Event: CMU at the Bijou, 6:00 PM

Breaking the Sound Barrier: Women in Radio
A screening of a documentary produced by Dr. Patricia Williamson, Associate Professor and Eric Limarenko, Associate Professor in CMU's School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts.  For further information about the documentary, see

Bijou by the Bay Theatre, 181 E. Grandview Parkway, Traverse City

Thursday, August 1st  –  7:00 – 9:00 PM
Celebration at Bonobo Winery
Join fellow Chippewas for an evening of celebration at the Bonobo Winery on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City.  Owners Todd and Carter Oosterhouse will host an evening of fine wine, cheese and great company in appreciation of the College of the Arts and Media's 4th  year partnering with TCFF.
Bonobo Winery, 12011 Center Road, Traverse City


Friday, August 2nd -   Noon  

**Shorts by CMU Students

Program length: 90 min.Young filmnmakers from Central Michigan University once again bring their shorts to the festival with a collection of narratives. Peak Leavesis a brother and sister’s journey on the road to acceptance. Being young and broke can be hard, so it always helps to find Spare Change. Silent Nightreveals the harsh realities of sexual assault in the lives of college students. Divine Purposerevolves around Sam and his family, who experience heartache after two of their family members die. Through the grief and family struggles, Sam loses his faith.

Old Town Playhouse, 148 E. Eighth Street, Traverse City


Filmmakers' Loft Party

Following the screening, the College of the Arts and Media invites you to stop by our Filmmakers' Loft Party to mingle with fellow alumni, students and TCFF filmmakers.  Appetizers and beverages provided.

The Franklin (upstairs in The Loft) – 160 E. Front Street, Traverse City


**Film School at Traverse City Film Festival:

Wednesday, July 31 - Noon |“A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...”

Eric Limarenko, Central Michigan University, Associate Professor, School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts

Ever wonder why the Star Wars universe captured the imaginations of millions across generations and cultural divides? Discuss Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” and how that provided the template for the epic Skywalker saga. Discover proper composition, compelling col-or theory and good design, and learn about the inspiration behind some of the most iconic images in science fiction through the art of Star Wars.


Heather Polinsky, Central Michigan University Director, School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts

Learn about the copyrights that must be managed to produce a film or a YouTube video. Find out how to protect yourself against lawsuits and how to protect your creative expressions from being exploited by others. You don’t need a lawyer to be copyright savvy. Explore music copyrights, story adaptation rights, trademarks, defamation laws, and how they come into play in your filmmaking.

Wednesday & Thursday, July 31 and August 1 - 1:45 - 4:45 | YOUNG FILMMAKERS WORKSHOP: CLAYMATION ANIMATION

Stephan Leeper, Central Michigan University Associate Professor of Animation, Department of Art and Design with assistance from CMU animation students and in collaboration with Clayspace TC

Design, sculpt, and animate your own clay creations! We'll begin the workshop by brainstorming the stories behind our characters. From there we'll build them in clay and cast them in their own short films that will be shown on the big screen on Saturday before the Kids Fest shorts program! In this two-day workshop, students will learn a broad range of stop-motion tips and tricks that they will be able to use in their own animated productions at home. Ages 10 - 14. Limit 15 students. Tickets $20.

**For tickets, visit

For more information about other films and events at the Traverse City Film Festival, visit