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What to Expect from this Year’s Friday Harbor Film Festival

poster for the friday harbor film festival

Content by Jennifer Furber, Photo by Lindsey Smith, Logo from FHFF.org

friday harbor film festival

November 3-5, 2017 brings the 5th Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival to historic Friday Harbor.  This 3-day event will show over 35 films that aim to “entertain, inspire and enlighten”.  This festival showcases compelling documentary narratives that encourage positive social change.  The craft of filmmaking is honored with a Q & A with the actual filmmaker after each showing. This intimate dialogue creates a very unique experience for the audience and gives access to deeper connections to the stories about the people, cultures and environment that make up the area known as the Pacific Rim.  

What’s in Store this Year

A few films rise to the top of the must-see list with opportunities for meaningful panel discussions after each film screening.  RESILIENCE explores the movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress, BLUEFIN explores our complex relationship with the sea’s cycle of life, and A GOOD AMERICAN discusses the surveillance program used to gather data on potential terrorist threats.  Be sure to download your Film Festival Schedule.

This festival takes place just a few blocks from The Tucker House at seven different venues around town:  Whittier Theatre at San Juan Community Theatre (SJCT), Gubelman Theatre at San Juan Community Theatre (SJCT), San Juan Island Grange, Palace Theatre, Isle Seat Theatre, Brickworks Screening Venue, and Friday Harbor House.

The Opening Night Gala, on November 3, is a fancy event with fine food and cocktails. This party features locally prepared appetizers and one-of-a-kind beverages.  The event will honor Elouise Cobell, the Lifetime Achievement winner for 2017. President Obama awarded Cobell the Medal of Freedom.  The film 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice will screen the Gala. You must have a wristband and/or special ticket to get into this exclusive event.  Details at The Friday Harbor Film Festival website.  

Young Filmmakers Project

The Young Filmmakers Project is a mentorship program that gives High School and Middle School students an opportunity to develop filmmaking skills.  Our hope is for our students achieve proficiency in the art of filmmaking.  Orcas Islander Dylan D’Haeze is a young filmmaker who made the award winning short film Plastic is Forever.  This is certainly an inspiring component to the festival that highlights how kids are saving the planet.

Facilitators will reveal The Audience Choice Awards on Sunday. The audience selects films in the following categories: Tales of the Heart, Explorers and Adventures, Things to Consider and Local Heros, as well as the overall Audience Favorite, Best Short film and Best Young Filmmaker film.

What are you Waiting For?

With seven different venues all over town, it takes a bit of planning ahead of time.  Be sure to download your Film Festival Schedule, arrive at the venues at least a half hour before with your wristband ready to be scanned or your ticket available for punching.  

The all-access wristband includes all films and the Opening Night Filmmakers’ Gala and sells for $150.  A 10-film pass is $100, a 5-film pass is $55, a single film is $12, while the Gala-only is $75.  You can purchase tickets in person at the Film Festival Office or on the Film Festival webpage.  

During the Friday Harbor Film Festival, book your stay a few steps away from hour viewing venue at the Tucker House Inn. At our charming bed and breakfast, we offer luxurious accommodations and wonderful amenities. Enjoy our friendly hospitality service, who will help you plan an ideal vacation getaway. You will also love our three-course gourmet breakfast each morning and dinner at our own Coho Restaurant. We also offer complimentary use of bicycles, kayaks, hot tubs and outdoor decks with barbecue grills. Not to mention fresh-baked cookies delivered to you each and every afternoon! So, what are you waiting for? Book your stay today!

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