The Film Festival’s most pop­u­lar film will receive the Audi­ence Choice Award – Best Over­all and a final screen­ing.

Award win­ners receive a per­son­al­ized met­al salmon sculp­ture made by Chuck Moen of Sandy Ore­gon.

Addi­tion­al awards will be pre­sent­ed for:

  • Best full-length film by theme
    • Explor­ers and Adven­tures
    • Things to Con­sid­er
    • Tales from the Heart
    • Best short film

Help Select the Audience Choice Award Winners

  • Be sure to rate each film you see dur­ing the Fes­ti­val. Your rat­ings, com­bined with those of all atten­dees, will deter­mine the win­ners!
  • Your Audi­ence Choice Awards bal­lot is the card­stock insert in your pro­gram.
  • After view­ing each film, rate it as 3 (loved it!), 2 (pret­ty good) or 1 (not my favorite). If you do not see a film, cir­cle N/A.
  • When you have seen your final film at the Fes­ti­val, turn in your vot­ing card as you leave. A bal­lot box is near the exit of each venue.

Audience Choice Awards Presentations:

Local Hero Award Presentation

Sun­day, Novem­ber 5 7:30 to 10 pm   • Whit­ti­er The­atre at  San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre

THE LOCAL HERO AWARD will be pre­sent­ed to 13-year-old Dylan D’Haeze from Orcas Island for his efforts to pro­tect our plan­et from the impact of plas­tic. Dylan’s doc­u­men­tary, Plas­tic is For­ev­er, will be shown pri­or to his award pre­sen­ta­tion.  Dylan has been shar­ing his mes­sage across the coun­try at var­i­ous film fes­ti­vals, schools, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly-based com­mu­ni­ty events.

Local Hero Award – Dylan D’Haeze

The Local Hero Award is pre­sent­ed each year to a present or for­mer res­i­dent of the San Juan Islands who has made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to our qual­i­ty of life, impact­ing peo­ple, ani­mals, the arts, or the envi­ron­ment.

Thir­teen-year-old Dylan D’Haeze, a res­i­dent of Orcas Island. reminds us that being a local hero does not have an age restric­tion.  If you care about the plan­et and every­thing that lives with­in it, and have the courage to share this mes­sage with the world, pow­er­ful things can hap­pen.

What began as a seem­ing­ly sim­ple quest — to know more about plas­tic and its impact on the envi­ron­ment — has thrust this young and thought­ful first-time film­mak­er into a lead­er­ship role.  Dylan con­tin­ues to ask poignant and impor­tant ques­tions, but he is now going far beyond sat­is­fy­ing his own curios­i­ty to active­ly encour­ag­ing oth­ers to take action.

Dylan’s doc­u­men­tary, Plas­tic is For­ev­er, is being fea­tured at this year’s Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val.  It con­tains a pow­er­ful mes­sage about the neces­si­ty of reduc­ing our depen­dence on plas­tic. Since the film was released, Dylan has been shar­ing his mes­sage across the coun­try at var­i­ous film fes­ti­vals, schools, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly-based com­mu­ni­ty events.

The film has already received mul­ti­ple awards, includ­ing the Envi­ron­men­tal Award from the pres­ti­gious Inter­na­tion­al Ocean Film Fes­ti­val in San Fran­cis­co, Best Children’s Film at the Inter­na­tion­al Wildlife Film Fes­ti­val, and Awards of Mer­it in both the Nature / Envi­ron­ment / Wildlife and Young Film­mak­er cat­e­gories at the Best of Shorts Film Fes­ti­val.  Plas­tic is For­ev­er has also become part of a grow­ing series, “How Kids Can Change the Plan­et.” For more infor­ma­tion about this project, vis­it

Dylan and his par­ents, Dawn and Kevin D’Haeze, are attend­ing this year’s fes­ti­val in Fri­day Har­bor, and are par­tic­i­pat­ing in our Young Film­mak­ers Project by help­ing to men­tor oth­er aspir­ing film­mak­ers who have impor­tant mes­sages to share and sto­ries to tell.  We believe that when kids like Dylan show ini­tia­tive, and are pos­i­tive and pur­pose­ful in their approach, they will accom­plish won­der­ful things.

Thank you, Dylan, for being our Local Hero.  Your spir­it and actions inspire all of us, and we can­not wait to see where your next quest leads!

Awards Emcee

CW Lott is a musi­cian, film­mak­er and teacher liv­ing in Seat­tle, WA, where he leads the exper­i­men­tal pop band, Wall of Ears and teach­es music and art at the Seat­tle Girl’s School. His label, Brainthaw Records, releas­es tran­scen­den­tal out­sider music and hosts local psy­che­del­ic hap­pen­ings of son­ic and art col­lab­o­ra­tions.