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Our Mission

Each year, the Friday Harbor Film Festival, located on beautiful San Juan Island, Washington, invites dedicated and talented filmmakers to showcase their documentary films’ unique ability to:

  • Entertain audiences through the art of compelling storytelling;

  • Inspire audience members and filmmakers to be a force for positive change;

  • Enlighten all participants by conveying relevant information, creating awareness, and expanding appreciation of our fragile planet, diverse cultures, and those daring to explore new frontiers; 

  • Encourage students to learn the art of storytelling through film by participating in the Young Filmmakers Project. 

Producing the Film Festival

It Takes a Small Village

In 2022,  we celebrated the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s tenth anniversary!  We are so proud of our significant achievement!  None of this would have been possible without our FHFF ohana -- a special group of friends and neighbors who devote a great deal of time and energy to this event.  Without the efforts of this extremely committed group of islanders, the Film Festival simply could not happen nor continue for ten years. 


Our volunteers believe in the importance of conveying meaningful stories through film, as well as discussions with the filmmakers themselves. 

More than 150 volunteers help us to: 

  • Solicit sponsors and advertisers

  • Design, write, and edit our program 

  • Help select films

  • Schedule venues

  • Social media and online presence

  • Take photos

  • Coordinate housing for visiting filmmakers

  • Staff the venues and festival office

  • Set up for each event

  • Clean up after each event


To all these energetic and loyal volunteers, thank you for a wonderfully successful 10th-year anniversary!  Each of you contributes significantly to the success of our festival, and we can’t thank you enough.


Karen Palmer,


Support the Heart of Storytelling

Donate to Friday Harbor Film Festival

Join us in championing the art of visual storytelling at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enlightening, inspiring, and engaging communities through the power of documentary film. Our festival thrives on the generous support of individuals like you, alongside grants and the invaluable efforts of our volunteers. Your donation today ensures that we continue to showcase compelling stories that spark conversation and foster a deeper understanding of the world.


Click the "Donate" button to contribute to our cause and help us keep the projector lights shining bright.


The Crew


Karen Palmer - Director

Mark Kyle - Production Director

Ellen Roberts - Publicity & Festival Coordinator

Theresa Simendinger - Advertising & Promotion Director

Susan Waters - Student & Volunteer Development

Norris Palmer - In-Theatre Production

Lee Taylor - Event Coordinator

Malcolm Suttles - Technical Coordinator

Anthony Vivenzio - Advisory Board

Lynn Danaher - Advisory Board

Suzy Wakefield- Advisory Board

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