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Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Friday Harbor Film Festival’s 2022 BEST OF THE FEST series continues to offer award-winning documentaries throughout February. Each week during February an audience-choice favorite feature film and short film, as well as the winning student films, will be available on demand on the website, Filmmaker Q&As recorded during the 2021 festival are available free.

Tickets are available online. Each week’s feature/short film combination costs only $2.95. A monthly pass for all 4 weeks in February costs $11.80.


Feature – Whale Talk + Q&A (Volker Barth), sponsored by Friday Harbor Grand

To understand the language of whales is an ancient dream. So far nobody has managed to crack their code. Biologists finally team up with computer researchers to adapt AI tools to orcas. while also documenting the challenges the orcas are facing. Computer linguists and Automated Pattern Recognition researchers have developed sophisticated analysis tools during the last years. Do whales use a real “language”? To find answers, an international team sets out to adapt AI tools to killer whales. To collect sufficient data for their analysis the team embarks on an expedition along the pristine coastlines of Northern Canada. With specialized software onboard they follow different groups of the Northern Resident killer whales. While following different orca families along the coast of Canada, the film provides the first window into a new and exciting era of animal communication research, while drawing us closer to an old dream of mankind – decoding of their language.

Shorts– Vala North (Stephani Gordon), sponsored by Sam & Jane Buck: In the far northern atolls of Papua New Guinea, scientist chieftain and visionary John Aini resurrects old secret ways and melds them with what he and his fellow chieftains and their people know of the coral reefs they rely on. Vala North is a story of a thin thread of hope in a changing world, hope for coral reefs around these islands, and hope for the communities that rely on them.

Generations of Sound (Megan Hockin-Bennett), sponsored by Brickworks: At Orcalab, a remote land-based research station, on Hanson Island, British Columbia, Canada. Helena Symonds has been listening to the sounds of Orca for over forty years.

Thank you to all the FHFF filmmakers, sponsors, and all who appreciate great documentary films. Check out everything on our website:

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