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  • Oct. 26-28 2018

5th Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival A Huge Success


The fifth annu­al Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val scored anoth­er great week­end of shoul­der sea­son crowds and high­ly rat­ed doc­u­men­tary films.  The week­end start­ed with the packed, Open­ing Night Film­mak­ers Gala at the SJC The­ater.  Mem­bers of the Samish Nation per­formed a heart­felt invo­ca­tion in hon­or of the 2017 Andrew V. McLa­glen Life­time Achieve­ment win­ner; Elouise Cobell, the award was pre­sent­ed posthu­mous­ly to her nieces Cher and Joey Cobell.  Fol­lowed by the screen­ing of her life; 100 Years, One Wom­ans Fight for Jus­tice.

Over 30 film­mak­ers attend­ed, from as far away as New Zealand.  They par­tic­i­pat­ed in both the Q&A after each film and the Film­mak­ers Forum, as well as min­gling with the crowds and watch­ing oth­er films.  The Pres­i­dent of the Explor­ers Club trav­eled from NYC to attend and MC the Awards night.

The win­ners of the 2017 Fri­day Har­bor Film fes­ti­val were:                      

Over­all Audi­ence “Score:  A Film Music Doc­u­men­tary”; Matt Schrad­er       

 Best Short:“A Hand to Stand”; Matt Miles and Lind­say Marie Stew­art

Cat­e­go­ry Favorites:    

Explor­ers and Adven­tures:“Yasuni Man”; Ryan Kil­lack­ey                             

 Tales of the Heart:“Har­ry & Snow­man”; Ron Davis

Things to Con­sid­er:  was a tie

Crazy­wise”; Phil Borges and Kevin Tom­lin­son 

Riv­er Blue”; Roger Williams

Our Local Hero this year was a young man from Orcas Dylan D’Haeze who screened his 2 films Plas­tic is For­ev­er and Tip­ping Point.

Our Young Film­mak­ers Project award went to a young woman from Dun­can BC;  Ang­ie Vio­let Hawes for His First Time.  Which tied in per­fect­ly with the film Angst; which had a spe­cial screen­ing for all schools on Thurs night.

Each of these films, plus 6 of the high­est scor­ing films will be screened this win­ter 2x per month at the Grange on Tues­day nights…watch for it! Each win­ning film received a hand made met­al salmon, that per­fect­ly rep­re­sents our region.

More peo­ple than ever attend­ed from out of the coun­ty. Atten­dance over­all increase by 13% with most of that increase com­ing from the entire Pacif­ic North­west, Cal­i­for­nia and across the Unit­ed States.  Restau­rants and Cof­fee shops that stayed open through­out the Film Fes­ti­val were packed.  Atten­dees and Film­mak­ers raved about the qual­i­ty of the film fes­ti­val. Sev­er­al Film­mak­ers from across the globe told us that this is the BEST com­mu­ni­ty film fes­ti­val they’ve ever attend­ed, com­par­ing us to Berlin, Toron­to, Sun­dance and Cannes.  They loved the amaz­ing and thought pro­vok­ing selec­tion of films, the venues, the charm­ing town of Fri­day Har­bor and all the friend­ly vol­un­teers.  Our beau­ti­ful loca­tion, our selec­tion of 6 great venue’s, all with­in easy walk­ing dis­tance to the fer­ry and each oth­er, the many restau­rants to select from, plus the flaw­less orga­ni­za­tion of entire event made for a great impres­sion and they all want to return.

One of our win­ning film­mak­ers Roger Williams for Riv­er Blue wrote:

The qual­i­ty of the films was sec­ond to none, and I’m not just say­ing that I tru­ly felt hon­ored to be in the pres­ence of so many great and high pro­file films and film­mak­ers.

 Even though your fes­ti­val may be small­er than some we have attend­ed the lev­el of pro­fes­sion­al­ism exceeds many larg­er fes­ti­vals we have been at. The com­mu­ni­ca­tion back to the film­mak­ers, the film­mak­er forum and the screen­ings I attend­ed were all first class. I real­ly appre­ci­at­ed being able to attend and pro­vide a Q&A and found the cal­i­bre of the ques­tions from the audi­ence to be both edu­cat­ed and thought­ful.

 I have no idea what it real­ly takes to put on a film fes­ti­val but I would assume it is no small feat. The amount of sup­port I felt in your com­mu­ni­ty and even on the fer­ry com­ing to Fri­day Har­bor was extra­or­di­nary. I met numer­ous peo­ple from var­i­ous parts of the US and Cana­da so the ben­e­fit to the region in trav­el, meals and accom­mo­da­tions must be a good boost to the local econ­o­my.

 It’s impor­tant to us film­mak­ers that great fes­ti­vals like the FHFF con­tin­ue and grow in the com­ing years. I will cer­tain­ly pro­mote the FHFF to oth­er film­mak­ers as a must attend film fes­ti­val and one to try to get their films into.

The fifth Annu­al FHFF end­ed the evening with Direc­tor Lynn Dana­her read­ing a poem she wrote, which is a call to action to stay the course and to be be pos­i­tive in these dif­fi­cult times,  she received a stand­ing ova­tion. 

pho­tos by Matt Pranger 


The Day After the Elec­tion; By Lynn Dana­her
Writ­ten the morn­ing of Nov. 8, 2016, after a sleep­less night

Each day begins with a promise…the dawn

As day renews we must all pledge to go on

First a bright pink sliv­er of light below the steel grey clouds

As I wak­en to the new day and pon­der all the crowds

Of peo­ple con­fused, ter­ri­fied and feel­ing left behind

Those seek­ing the free­dom we rep­re­sent, all those behind the lines 

Our frag­ile world is gasp­ing for all we hold dear

The soil that gives us our food, the water, the air

How can we all meet, the chal­lenges ahead ?

It is thru our own integri­ty, our hearts while remain­ing fast stead

We must con­tin­ue each new day, with great resolve

To work togeth­er on all the con­cerns that togeth­er we can solve

Turn around the divi­sive­ness that is infect­ing our beau­ti­ful land 

We must all make a com­mit­ment to reach out with a help­ing hand 

Sup­port all who are work­ing hard but still feel sup­pressed 

Stand­ing rock, the refugees, our home­less and all those under duress 

For isn’t that the mes­sage our coun­try has always shown

Free­dom, oppor­tu­ni­ty, equal­i­ty, inclu­sive­ness; that is how we have grown

Our promise to each oth­er should be to remain pos­i­tive and steady

Keep­ing a course of clear action will insure we are ready

The dawn bright­ens into pale pink but the grey clouds remain

That should be our metaphor to erase the dark away.

Take the time to reach out to those you can­not under­stand

Lis­ten to their con­cerns, be open, remind them this is all our land

The pow­er of inclu­sive­ness, empa­thy and love is a bet­ter way

These actions to all work togeth­er will insure us a new day.

So please take this mes­sage deep into your heart 

We must all remain focused and com­mit to do our part. 

The dawn is brighter now, the warmth and light of the sun illu­mi­nate 

The grey clouds turn to blue with the promise it’s not too late! 




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