GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Traverse City Film Festival is shutting down after nearly 20 years, according to WPBN, the NBC affiliate based in Traverse City.

The festival, which brought filmmakers from all over the world to Traverse City each summer, was canceled for two years during the pandemic. In June 2021, it received a $1 million grant from Congress to help restart the event, WPBN previously reported.

Last year was the first time it broke even for the first time in years, according to Michael Moore, founder and president of the film festival.

“We’ve decided, after much heartfelt discussion, that it’s best to close this era of the film fest now while we’re ahead, no longer in debt, and go out on top with many years of fond memories that we will all collectively cherish for the rest of our lives,” Moore wrote in an email to supporters.

He said it was a unanimous vote to bring the Traverse City Film Festival to an end.

“The end of an era and the beginning of a new mission,” Moore wrote.

Next, he said the committee that ran the film festival will be focusing on building up the historic Bijou By the Bay movie theater, creating essentially a “permanent year-round” Traverse City Film Festival.

“It is a new time in need of a new TCFF. The film fest that we knew and loved is now a piece of wonderful history. It is time for us to invent something new, something bold that is progressive and sustainable and based in the belief that those who work in this city should be able to afford to live in this city,” wrote Moore.