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Film Submission Guide: 2024 Friday Harbor Film Festival

Welcome to the portal for storytellers, change-makers, and visionaries. Set against the backdrop of the picturesque San Juan Island, Washington, our festival is an annual event that brings together compelling stories from around the globe. Below, find everything you need to know about our submission categories, the special showcase for young filmmakers, key dates, and more.


Festival Dates

Join us for an unforgettable experience from October 24 to 27, 2024, culminating in an in-person awards ceremony on October 27, 2024. Selected films will be screened during the festival, with opportunities for filmmaker Q&As, both in-person and via livestream.


Submission Dates

Feature and Short Documentaries, and Young Filmmakers Showcase: Submit your work between

February 5 through August 1, 2024


Categories Overview

Feature Documentary Films:

Dive deep into stories that matter. With a running time of 41 minutes or longer, these films should convey compelling narratives, uncover truths, or bring to light stories that challenge, inform, and captivate.

Short Documentary Films:

In 40 minutes or less, these shorts have the power to move, provoke thought, and leave a lasting impact. Whether it’s a snapshot of life, an exploration of a critical issue, or a brief journey into unknown worlds, your short film can make a big statement.

Young Filmmakers Showcase:

Designed to spotlight the next generation of filmmakers, this category celebrates short films (3-15 minutes) by young creators aged 13-17 and 18-26. Whether live-action or animated, these documentaries should reflect the unique perspectives and creativity of youth.

Themes to Explore

Explorers & Adventures:

For the daring at heart, these films capture the essence of exploration and adventure in all its forms—from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of space.


Things to Consider:

Engage with topics that demand attention, ranging from environmental challenges and health crises to social justice and innovative solutions. These films should not only inform but also encourage viewers to act.


Tales from the Heart:

Share stories of extraordinary people, breathtaking nature, and efforts to forge a better future. Films in this category highlight the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.


How to Submit

Prepare your documentary for submission and click on the FilmFreeway logo to proceed. Ensure your film fits within one of our categories and themes, and follow the guidelines for a successful submission.


We eagerly await your stories that entertain, inspire, enlighten, and encourage!


Embrace this opportunity to showcase your documentary at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, where your vision can contribute to a global dialogue, spark change, and celebrate the art of storytelling through film.

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