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Exclusive Short Films Screening & In-Person Q&A Session

Be part of a unique double feature at the SJI Library on March 8 at 7 pm! Friday Harbor Film Festival is excited to host directors Amy Benson (The Last Act) and Della Chen (She Marches in Chinatown), along with Patsy Benson, the focus of The Last Act, for an in-person Q&A session after the screenings. This is a rare chance to experience two compelling documentaries and engage directly with the creators. No ticket or RSVP is required as all Best of the Fest events are FREE.

The Last Act

Patsy Benson, a 92-year-old retired actress, housewife, and widow, lives alone. She cooks, shops, swims, laughs, walks, makes friends. Her eyesight and hearing are failing her. When the fire alarm went off in her apartment and she was unable to negotiate the dark stairwell by herself, she realized with finality that it was unsafe for her to continue to live on her own.

There is no room for her in her daughter Amy’s apartment. They don’t know if she can afford an assisted living facility, but they schedule tours to check them out, although they don’t want to decide for Patsy to move.

This film is lyrical, frank, poignant, and funny. The camera was on for over a year, while they talked about the finances, as Patsy visited her best friend in hospice, as she said goodbye to photographs she will never see again, and as they came to terms with her mortality.

She Marches in Chinatown

In 1952, Asian American girls had no extra-curricular activities until Ruby Chow created the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, the only one of its kind in the world. Despite gentrification, Title IX, and a global pandemic, seventy years later the drill team continues to define, represent, and celebrate the evolving Asian American experience of its dedicated multigenerational participants.


Each month through September Best of the Fest will offer award-winning documentaries along with livestream Q&As.  Programs will begin at 7 pm.  Some are in collaboration with the San Juan Island Library; others are at the San Juan Island Grange.  Since they’re on Fridays, they are a great “date night” activity. 


Here’s the schedule:

Elemental – May 10 at the Grange

Mama Bears – June 14 at the Library

Patrick and the Whale – July 12 at the Library

Covenant of the Salmon People and Our Sacred Obligation – August 9 at the Library

Common Ground – September 13 at the Grange


Details about the films in the series are available on the website. Mark your calendar and plan to view the exceptional Best of the Fest documentaries.


Thank you to our 2024 Best of the Fest Sponsors!

Presenting SponsorSaviBank

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