TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – A film festival being organized by left-wing director Michael Moore (search) has some right-wing competition.
A local activist and a conservative group from Texas said Wednesday they were putting together an alternative to the Traverse City Film Festival (search), which Moore and residents of this Lake Michigan community are organizing.
"People are fed up and tired with the extreme left-wing radical fringe — America haters, family haters, Christian haters," said Genie Aldrich, a resident of nearby Suttons Bay and founder of the Traverse Bay Freedom Film Festival (search). She tried unsuccessfully last month to dissuade the city commission from letting Moore's group show films in a municipal waterfront park.
"I like it when Republicans take ideas of mine," said Moore, a Flint, Mich. native who has residences in neighboring Antrim County and New York City. "I have a few more where those came from, if they'd like to sit down and talk."
Aldrich said the alternative festival would feature a dozen movies, including favorites such as "Top Gun" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The others will be independent, politically oriented productions. Among them: "In the Face of Evil," a tribute to Ronald Reagan; "Confronting Iraq," a defense of the war in Iraq sponsored by the conservative group Accuracy in Media; and "Michael Moore Hates America."
The Freedom Festival is scheduled for July 29-30 — overlapping with Moore's festival, which will run from July 27-31.
Moore and fellow members of the larger festival's organizing committee have billed their program as nonpartisan and motivated only by appreciation for artistically superior filmmaking. None of Moore's films, such as the anti-war "Fahrenheit 9/11," are being shown.
The lineup includes 31 movies, among them classics such as "Jaws" and "Casablanca," and recently produced independents including "Broken Flowers," winner of the grand prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
"These are highly acclaimed films," Moore said. "Theirs are works of political propaganda."