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International Film Festival

January 26-February 6, 2022 - Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Every year the Friends of Thunder Bay National Markine Sancturary bring the world of cinema to Alpena! For five days in January Northeast Michigan is treated to some of the most impressive ocean and Great Lakes films from around the world. Film screenings are complemented by social events, educational activities, and opportunites to meet filmmakers. If you love the Great Lakes, become a Friend of TBNMS. Our mission is simple.  We are dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes and preserving their rich maritime history.

Thousands of miles of deep blue water in Thunder Bay are home to an estimated 200 shipwrecks, with nearly 100 identified to date. Majestic lighthouses, life-saving stations, and harbors further serve witness to the rich maritime history of Thunder Bay. Key to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s mission is protecting the Great Lakes and educating the public about these vast fresh waters and priceless treasures that rest along Lake Huron’s northwestern shores and bottomlands. Providing local support for the sanctuary’s mission is the driving force behind the Friends of TBNMS.

Established in 2010 by local community leaders, the Friends of TBNMS is a nonprofit 501(c)3. Its founders envisioned the significant opportunity the sanctuary offered for protecting our Great Lakes and their rich maritime history, hands-on educational experiences for area students, and local economic development. Today, that vision has become a reality with the Friends of TBNMS sharing a close working relationship with the sanctuary staff, playing a critical role in funding the sanctuary’s education programs, community outreach efforts, unique museum experiences, and research.


500 West Fletcher Street Alpena, MI 49707


Baymont Inn & Suites
510 S. Wisconsin Avenue
Gaylord, MI 49735

Best Western
1285 M-32 West
Alpena, MI 49707

Big Bear Lodge
2052 S US 23
Alpena, MI 49707

Days Inn
1496 M-32 West
Alpena, MI 49707

Dew Drop Inn Motel
2469 French Road
Alpena, MI 49707

Hampton Inn
230 Dickerson Road
Gaylord, MI 49735

Holiday Inn Express
1201 W. Main Street
Gaylord, MI 49735

Tree Tops Resort
3962 Wilkinson Road
Gaylord, MI 49735

University Quality Inn
137 West Street
Gaylord, MI 49735

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