Michael Moore Makes Movies, Gets Into Contract Disputes

Mark Dancer is the attorney for the Traverse City Film Festival. And when you call him, you get him.

He says that it’s totally okay that the Film Festival didn’t pay a bill to a vendor to the tune of $160,000, because the vendor did something unrelated they didn’t like back in 2013 even though the film festival didn’t complain about it until they had to say something in response to not paying theĀ $160,000 that they owned the vendor.

Boston Light & Sound provided equipment and services for the Traverse City Film Festival. Boston Light & Sound is a relatively small company with only a few dozen employees. They’re known for taking weird, dilapidated spaces and turning them into usable space for events like film festivals.

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When it came time to pay the bill to Boston Light & Sound for their 2017 services, the Film Festival just didn’t. At first, the Film Festival asked for an extension to file a response to Boston Light and Sound’s demand for payment. Then they said they weren’t paying the 2017 bill because they’re unhappy about something Boston Light & Sound did in 2013. They filed a counterclaim for $25,000, which is a paltry amount compared to what Boston Light & Sound says that TCFF didn’t pay them.

But Michael Moore didn’t stop there. He’s quoted as saying, “…those responsible on their end will regret that they did this” and “Perhaps we should be suing them.”

Michael Moore plays dirty all right.

It seems like Michael Moore has learned the Traverse City way. Smear them back, obfuscate the facts and law and hope the judge doesn’t care to see through the smoke.

This is going to drag on, because the settlement conference isn’t scheduled until the last calendar day of the year. The trial is scheduled in front of Judge Elsenheimer for February 2019.

Michael Moore and the film festival still have yet to offer a coherent response to why they didn’t pay the bill. The likely truth is what a representative said earlier, that the Film Festival simply can’t afford to pay the bill.

I hope they don’t get Traverse Citied in the 13th Circuit Court. You know, where the law and facts don’t matter, and the local person with the most power wins. Because there are some things in Traverse City that are sacrosanct. You can’t criticize them for anything. The Film Festival. The Cherry Festival. The State Theater. The Bijou. TCAPS. The police. NMC. Munson nurses. Whoever is running animal control these days.

Good luck to Boston Light & Sound. May your attorney memorize the phrase, “I would like to preserve the issue for appeal.”

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