Karen Cantrell-Palmer, Producer
Karen’s business career spanned from 1980 – 2005, where she excelled in the film and television industry, starting with 1986-Showtime Networks & 1996-Sundance Channel.
In 1996, in partnership with Robert Redford’s Sundance and Showtime Networks, Karen was a vital part of a management team that introduced Sundance Channel to the US market via cable and satellite distribution mediums. She was responsible for the management, marketing and distribution of programming, which led to 10 years of participation with the Sundance Film Festival. Her firsthand understanding and appreciation of the power of film and the art of storytelling and documentary film, has influenced her life’s purpose and achievements. Karen retired from Sundance in 2006.
Karen is also an avid, award-winning and world-class sailboat racer. She loves cruising the waters of the inside passage from San Juan to Alaska. Her passion for sailing motivated Karen and her husband Norris to move to San Juan Island, WA with their boats in 2006 as the small, magical island was only accessible by ferry, boat or plane, adding to its appeal.
In 2013, Karen joined Lynn Danaher, Director, whose vision was to create a documentary film festival that would share compelling stories about humanitarian efforts, environmental issues, social concerns, and daring explorations. Together, they introduced the first annual Friday Harbor Film Festival, October, 2013 “Be The Change” and now the festival occurs annually the 1st weekend in November. To date, the FHFF celebrates filmmakers and showcases documentary films with compelling stories of the Pacific Rim and Beyond. The ultimate goal is to ENTERTAIN*INSPIRE*ENLIGHTEN people through documentary film.