Michael Moore (search) says his next documentary already has HMOs quaking in their boots. Moore has not yet begun shooting the film, "Sicko," (search) but his planned critique of the nation's health care system, he says, is making "freaked-out" HMOs warn employees what to do if approached by the filmmaker.

"At this point we haven't shot anything yet and they're totally discombobulated," Moore said at the inaugural Traverse City Film Festival (search). Moore, who lives near Traverse City, founded the film festival with local movie buffs to showcase excellent films.

Moore described good movies as a bridge across the political divide for people "tired of the hate, tired of the yelling, tired of ... the screamfests, the talk radio."

Though the festival is showing films like "Casablanca" (search) and the upcoming Bill Murray movie "Broken Flowers," (search) Moore's involvement sparked a conservative Texas group to sponsor a rival festival showing Hollywood classics and conservative-themed movies. That festival was to begin Saturday.

While Moore's Traverse City Film Festival puts politics on the back-burner for a weekend, he makes no apology for making politically themed films.

"When in this great democracy did 'political' become a dirty word?"