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Shorts Block Showcase: Conservation and Transformation Stories

Friday Harbor Film Festival is excited to present four excellent short documentaries made by local and Northwest Washington filmmakers about topics related to San Juan Island. This is an opportunity to experience the films and engage directly with the creators in person. The program at the SJI Grange begins at 7 pm on Friday, April 12. No ticket or RSVP is required as all Best of the Fest events are FREE.

Friday, April 12, 7 PM screening of four short documentary films at the SJI Grange.



PUPS: Protectors & Politics

Directed by San Juan Islander Amy Herdy, PUPS tells the story of an island wildlife rehabilitation center that keeps baby seals alive as government officials consider culling them. Running time: 28 minutes


The Bench

Local director Sam Nuttmann describes his film: “The Bench is a story of travel and transformation. We follow a path in life that leads us to whole new worlds and unexpected ways of being. But one thing is unavoidable - we are always changing. The story is simple and so is the imagery, letting nature and natural movements guide the way.” Running time: 4.5 minutes

Call of the Orcas

In this documentary, Jessica Plumb, a filmmaker from Port Townsend, explores the urgent effort to recover endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales of the Pacific Northwest, through the eyes of one of their human champions, researcher Ken Balcomb, who passed away in late 2022. Balcomb’s determined survey work over nearly fifty years helped people see these orcas as individuals, in family groups, and led to a subspecies listing under the US Endangered Species Act. Running time: 18 minutes

Island Marble Butterfly Conservation

Presented by Trent Lieber, former Natural Resources Specialist at the San Juan Island National Historical Park, this film provides an intimate look at the highly successful butterfly conservation program taking place at the park. The endangered island marble butterfly is found only in American Camp on the south end of San Juan Island. Running time: 4 minutes


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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