For the second year in a row, the Traverse City Film Festival has been canceled due to COVID-19.

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Usually held in late July to early August, The Traverse City Film Festival was founded in 2005 by filmmaker Michael Moore. He shared the news that the Festival won't happen in 2021 in a release, saying,

This is truly upsetting for us and for everyone here who loves the movies and sees this festival as a cultural cornerstone of the community.

Last year’s cancellation was understandable in the first months of the pandemic. But a full year later, with vaccines and masks available to everyone over 16-years old, why is the state of Michigan still being ravaged by this virus at such a record high? Why are 9 of the top 10 Covid cities in the entire nation all located in the state of Michigan?

Getting your shots and wearing your masks is the way out of this pandemic - But the majority must first be all on the same page of the script for that to happen.

Moore said the Festival believes it would be “irresponsible” to invite thousands to the small lakeshore community whose one hospital recently had to limit visitors because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Festival board did announce that it is going to upgrade the fresh air circulation systems at its two theaters - the 105-year old State Theatre and the “Bijou by the Bay“ cinema - in the hope that when things improve they can open as soon as possible.

Moore says it's not out of the question that a shorter version of the Film Festival could take place in the late fall of this year or in the early winter of 2022:

It’s all up to the virus and its enablers. This is a tragedy which we can likely bring to an end. All it takes is for 80% of us to put aside our fears, our politics, and simply roll up our sleeves for a free shot. Is that too much to ask so we can all go back to watching great movies in a big dark theater once again?

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