Traverse City Film Festival Settles Lawsuit

“The Traverse City Film Festival and my company, Boston Light and Sound, have reached an amicable agreement in order to close out this unfortunate event.” Those are the words from Chapin Cutler with Boston Light and Sound.

It’s a legal conclusion for a long standing battle between the Traverse City Film Festival and one of its contractors. 

A jury trial was scheduled for the first week of June, depositions had been taken and the table was set for both sides to meet in court. But now that’s off the table.

Boston Light and Sound had a long-standing, more than ten-year relationship with the Film Festival. But that relationship soured in 2017 with Boston claiming it wasn’t getting paid for work it had done in that year’s festival.

Now both sides have come to an agreement, and the lawsuit was dismissed in court Wednesday without prejudice. That means Boston Light and Sound could re-file the case in the future.

But Cutler says the conclusion was “satisfactory to all of us.” He adds, “We as a company and I as a professional have been very proud of our relationship with the Traverse City Film Festival over our 12 years we were involved with them. We’re very proud to have been a part of the growth of the festival and what it’s meant to the Traverse City community, the arts community, and the region as a whole.”

When asked if his company would consider working with the festival in the future, Cutler said, “I think it’s up to them. We would certainly consider such an opportunity… if they were to open a door, we would certainly be willing to look and see what’s inside.”

A Film Festival spokeswoman was out of state and says the festival wasn’t available to comment.

The TCFF attorney, George Powell, says the festival “is pleased with the satisfactory settlement, and we thank the community for their continued support.”