Where to Watch ‘Mackinac: Our Famous Island’ Movie

Maybe you’ve been to Mackinac Island. Maybe you’ve even pedaled a bike all the way around Mackinac Island. Even so, you’ve never seen Mackinac Island quite like how it’s presented in the fascinating documentary, “Mackinac: Our Famous Island.”

The 57-minute film produced by Detroit Public TV in partnership with Mackinac State Historic Parks premiered in 2019 and offers a captivating look at the USA’s Best Summer Travel Destination that goes far beyond the horses and fudge of downtown Mackinac Island. Taking viewers on a tour that goes deeper into the natural beauty of the state park, “Mackinac: Our Famous Island” incorporates drone footage to share an extraordinary perspective of the island’s lakeshore, trails and historic landmarks.

The documentary shows views of Mackinac Island that the typical visitor never sees, aiming to showcase all the natural beauty so people can better understand and appreciate how special the Jewel of the Great Lakes really is.

Check out the “Mackinac: Our Famous Island” trailer:

Screenings of ‘Mackinac: Our Famous Island’

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

“Mackinac: Our Famous Island” shows an abundance of natural beauty while touching on the area’s earliest history, the founding of historic Fort Mackinac and efforts to protect the island’s incredibly distinctive character. The film introduces people, past and present, who have played key roles in Mackinac Island history and the preservation of the charm that makes the place so special.

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

“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” is shown weekly in Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Theater as part of the Mackinac Art Council’s Movies on Mackinac series. It’s free to attend those screenings and sit in the same theater featured in the Mackinac Island movie “Somewhere in Time” and where Christopher Reeve once gave an impromptu performance of Superman.

You also can watch “Mackinac: Our Famous Island” online with a PBS Passport.


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