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Witness the Journey of Ramba the Elephant and Explore the Power of Drums

Friday Harbor Film Festival’s FREE Best of the Fest series will offer a double feature on Friday, August 11, at the San Juan Island Grange and Online.


(Screening and Q&A are in-theatre only).

First, starting at 4:30 pm PDT, from Friday Harbor filmmaker Claire Sandberg, is a “sneak peek” pre-release screening of The Ramba Effect, a film about an elephant sanctuary. For some elephants, freedom is the hardest trick of all. Guided by compassionate experts and a devoted team of volunteers, Ramba, an Asian elephant who endured 50 years of isolation in a Chilean circus, embarks on an extraordinary 2,550-mile journey to her new home at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. This 40-minute documentary is in its final stages of development. Claire Sandberg will introduce her work and answer questions afterward. This will get you in the mood for International Elephants Day on August 12.


Let There Be Drums! will begin at 7 pm PDT. After the Grateful Dead’s final 50th anniversary shows in 2015, filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann (son of the Dead’s drummer, Bill Kreutzmann) realized that, for the first time, he and his dad could forge a relationship outside the shadow of the band. This inspired Justin to sit down with the world’s greatest drummers, in the hopes of better understanding both his father and the instrument that has defined his life. Along the way, Let There Be Drums! examines the personal struggles that so many of these musicians and their families have faced, the nature of how music passes from generation to generation, and the essential role that drumming plays in human life.

Following the film, Director Justin Kreutzmann will appear by livestream to speak about the film and answer audience questions. For those who can’t attend in person, the entire evening program will be live-streamed free beginning at 7 pm PDT on the website: FHFF.ORG.

On September 8 the final 2023 Best of the Fest offering will be Alan Magee: art is not a solace, along with a live stream or in-person Q&A. The program will begin at 7 pm at the San Juan Island Library and online at FHFF.ORG.

Mark your calendar and plan to view these exceptional Best of the Fest documentaries.


The 2023 Best of the Fest Series is sponsored by SaviBank.

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