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2023 In-Theatre Festival Films

Friday Harbor Film Festival once again welcomes you to a celebration of documentary filmmaking. This year, immerse yourself in twenty-five in-theatre feature documentaries that brilliantly encapsulate the power of real-life narratives. 


Navigate below to preview trailers, explore screening venues and times, delve into director biographies, view credits, and dive deep into the world of impactful documentaries.

In-Theatre Film Guide

In-Theatre Feature Documentaries

Unable to join us in Friday Harbor from October 26-29 for the in-theatre festival? No worries! Delve into 15 of our featured films available on-demand from October 30 - November 30 on  Browse individual listings for more details and enjoy the cinematic journey from wherever you are! 🎥✨

20 Days in Mariupol

Chernov reports on Mariupol's siege, refuting Russian misinformation amid chaos.

Aitamaako tamisskapi Natosi - Before the Sun

Logan Red Crow challenges norms in Indian Relay, guided by family and legacy.

Big Wave Guardians

Hawaiian lifeguards tackle rising surf dangers, evolving from Duke Kahanamoku to today.

Common Ground

Regenerative agriculture, inspired by indigenous knowledge, mends our food system.

Deep Rising

Deep Rising: A startup's quest to mine oceans for energy, risking Earth's last untouched frontier.

Melges - The Wizard of Zenda

Dive into Buddy Melges' sailing legacy, from America's Cup to sailor wisdom.


Uniting against Central America's illegal ranchers, revealing conflict beef's perils.

The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama In His Own Words

This uniquely exclusive oral autobiography is a profound and inspiring story for the ages.

We Are Tenacious

Queer ranchers in Rockies combat nature, finance, and militias seeking freedom

A Cedar Is Life

Harold C. Joe explores cedar's deep ties to Indigenous culture, stressing its preservation.

All That Breathes

Brothers save black kites in smoggy New Delhi, highlighting ecological and social rifts.

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On

Buffy Sainte-Marie: From folk sensation to tireless Indigenous rights advocate over six decades.

Covenant of the Salmon People

Nez Perce Tribe fights to save Chinook salmon, confronting dam threats to their ancient pact.

Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire

Watch FREE online on Wednesday, May 15 on Film begins promptly at 7 PM PDT.

Nuclear Now

Oliver Stone reveals nuclear energy's role against climate change, exposing fossil fuel deceit.

Right Over the Edge: The Search for the North Pacific Right Whale

Sailors journey to spotlight the endangered North Pacific right whale.

The Space Race

Untold tales of Black astronauts confronting NASA's racial barriers, redefining 'the right stuff'.

Abled: The Blake Leeper Story

Blade sprinter Blake Leeper confronts Olympic bias against disabled athletes.

Bad Press

Journalist Angel Ellis confronts Muscogee Nation's censorship in a media freedom clash.


From street musician to global icon, delve into Carlos Santana's transformative journey.

Cowboy Poets

Nevada's cowboys counter myths with poetry to conserve their vanishing world.

Mama Bears

Conservative mothers champion LGBTQ+ rights, spotlighting three pivotal tales.

Patrick and the Whale

Patrick Dykstra's bond with a sperm whale showcases marine intelligence and devotion.

The Grab

Covert efforts reshape global power by controlling food and water resources.


From deformed boy to legendary leader, delve into Chief Tzouhalem's myths and truths.

In-Theatre Short Films

Discover the captivating world of short films both in-theatre and from the coziness of your home! While we showcase these films in Friday Harbor from October 26-29, they'll also be available for on-demand streaming from October 30 to November 5 on Don't miss out – dive into these cinematic treasures wherever you are!

A Fiber Story

From shearing to crafting, dive into a year with Whidbey Island's guanacos and their prized fiber.

Call of the Orcas

Chronicling Ken Balcomb's dedication to saving Pacific Northwest orcas, the film questions human-orca coexistence.

From Sweden, With Love

Swedish Hanna's tent school in Lahore transforms lives of marginalized Pakhiwas.

Island Marble Butterfly Conservation

A deep dive into San Juan Island's unique butterfly conservation for the endangered island marble.

One River, Ethics Matter

Addressing dam injustices, the film urges a revamped Columbia River Treaty for sustainability.

Paddle Home: Maui's Paddle Out Ceremony

Post-wildfire in Maui, a paddle ceremony honors the lost, with dolphins symbolizing hope.

She Marches in Chinatown

Since 1952, Seattle's unique drill team symbolizes Asian American pride amidst change.

The Last Act: A Short Documentary about Life and Death

An actress in her 90s rethinks life, seeks retirement home after facing personal limits.


A contemplative dive into existence, 'Reverence' melds genre-fluid poetry and meditation.

Any Fool Knows

Ron Gregg's gear mishap sparks Outdoor Research. His legacy thrives despite tragic end.


Island community unites to protect nature and preserve rural life.


HEALY's crew investigates the Arctic's fast-melting ice and its global impacts.

Kabwe Ka Mukuba

In Zambia's toxic town, Caleb fights against lead pollution affecting 100,000, while reconciling his home's future.

Our Sacred Obligation

Yurok Tribe fights colonization, restoring Klamath River and its sacred salmon.

Quahoggers: Rhode Island’s Iconic Shell-fishermen

Rhode Island’s Quahoggers face a fading craft in Narragansett Bay amid modern challenges and a waning youth interest.

Song of the Hermit

Post-fire, the fate of Big Basin's hermit thrush is studied to gauge its coastal distribution.

Wild Territory

Etienne photographs Australia's hidden wildlife, diving deep to advocate for nature's treasures.

Ashley Martin: Mysterious Origin

Ashley Martin crafts mystical sculptures, embodying nature's essence through his woodworking artistry.

Farming Our Future

Eastie Farms builds an innovative geothermal greenhouse in East Boston's urban setting.

Into the Stillaguamish

Exploring how Washington's Stillaguamish River unites communities in their quest for a healthier waterway.

Manta Watch: Discovering Aotearoa's Gentle Giants

Manta Watch New Zealand and enthusiasts seek the elusive, endangered Oceanic Manta Ray.


Island center saves baby seals amid a government proposal for culling considerations.

Salted Earth

Mid-Atlantic faces sea rise and salt threats. Scientists and locals explore survival methods.

The Bench

Driftwood's voyage to a bench mirrors our life's unforeseen paths and transformations.

Your Water Can Be Safe

Film crew builds efficient water system for Ugandan orphanage in a day.

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