The ninth annual Traverse City Film Festival is underway after kicking off Tuesday afternoon with its first film showing.
The real party, however, started at 8:30 Tuesday night when crowds took over Front Street.
Hundreds came out for the opening night party, enjoying local food and wine as well as some film related conversation.
Ray Mather used vacation time to make the trip up from East Lansing. He and his wife enjoyed the Traverse City Film Festival so much last year, they're back again.
â??We came last year on a whim and enjoyed coming, so we're back again,â?? said Mather. This time the couple attended the opening night party. â??We're coming for the wine, the food, and the meet and greet.â??
A Traverse City couple attending Tuesdayâ??s bash says itâ??s fun to be part of the independent film culture. â??I'm around people who are excited to be here. They're into the movies, so it sets the tone for the whole week,â?? said Diane Dorn.
The movies being shown all week are ones you won't typically find in theaters, something founder Michael Moore takes pride in selecting.
â??Every year I'm amazed at the quality of films from around the world. We have such an incredible group of films this year,â?? said Moore.
There truly is something for every viewer, ranging from comedies, adventure, foreign flicks, documentaries, and romantic dramas.
â??You literally can walk into any film without even knowing what you're about to see and you will walk out an hour and a half later saying wow. What a great way to spend an hour and a half,â?? said Moore.
For people new to the film festival scene, some words of wisdom: buckle up and enjoy the ride.
â??They'll be surprised. They're going to get hooked. And keep coming to the movies here,â?? said Moore.
â??Everybody needs to come up here to see a movie. Take a week off and come up. It's a great time,â?? said Mather.
Tuesday also kicked off the free movies outside at the Open Space. Hundreds came out to watch the film â??Across the Universe,â?? a love story scored to classic hits from the Beatles.
7&4â??s Marc Schollett was there to introduce the movie.