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See Mackinac like never before in Detroit Public TV premiere of ‘Our Famous Island’

Maybe you’ve been to Mackinac. Maybe you’ve even pedaled a bike all the way around it. But you’ve never seen the island quite like this.Mackinac Island From Above – Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

A new documentary that’s airing this winter goes beyond the horses and fudge of downtown to take you on a tour that goes deeper into the natural beauty of “Mackinac: Our Famous Island.” The 57-minute film incorporates drone footage to give you an extraordinary perspective of the island’s shores, trails and historic landmarks.

It will premiere on WTVS-56 at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, and also will be shown on other public television stations around the state in the coming weeks.

“You’re going to see the island from angles that the typical visitor isn’t able to see, and it makes you realize just how much natural beauty there is,” said Dan Alpert, senior vice president of philanthropy with Detroit Public TV. “Even if you’ve done the eight miles around the island on a bicycle, most people don’t get to see what it looks like inside (the island) in all this beautiful forest.

“Our goal is that people will appreciate better and understand the importance of this gem of the Great Lakes.”

Check out the trailer:

With help from 10 major sponsors, Detroit Public TV commissioned Michigan filmmaker Oliver Thornton to make the documentary. Thornton visited Mackinac with a film crew several times in 2018 to shoot footage and do research. Some of the raw footage that’s not included in the film is below.

“Everyone knows about the horses and fudge, but the island is much more sacred than most of us realize,” Thornton said.

“Mackinac: Our Famous Island” will show you an abundance of natural beauty while touching on the area’s earliest history, the founding of Mackinac’s Colonial-era military fort and efforts to protect the island’s incredibly distinctive character. You will be introduced to people – past and present – who have played key roles in the island’s history and the preservation of the charm that makes Mackinac special.

The title of the documentary is inspired by a Jesuit missionary in the 1600s who described Mackinac as an “island famous in these regions.” That sentiment remains true today.

“It really is going to be a beautiful documentary that features all of the island,” said Dominick Miller, a Michigan State Historic Parks marketing manager who accompanied the crew for much of the filming.

“The crew captured several incredible scenes on the island and aims to tell the complete story of Mackinac Island.”

In addition to the Feb. 28 premiere, Detroit Public TV also will air “Mackinac: Our Famous Island” at 4:30 p.m. March 9. All other Michigan PBS stations plan to air the documentary as well.

Here’s when other public television stations in Michigan will broadcast the film:

  • WDCQ – University Center, 8 p.m. Feb. 28
  • WCMU – Mt. Pleasant, 8 p.m. March 9 on Create Channel
  • WCMU – Mt. Pleasant, 9 p.m. March 14 and 2:30 p.m. March 16 on Main Channel

Check with your local public television station to find out when “Mackinac: Our Famous Island” will air on WKAR-East Lansing, WGVU-Grand Rapids or WNMU-Marquette.

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