The Bowmakers

Director:  Ward Serrill

The story of the most important instrument you’ve never heard of. Port Townsend, Washington is known as the “Mecca of bowmaking,” where five world-renowned bowmakers live and work. They are among the handful of craftsmen who still practice this centuries-old trade. 

To musicians, the bow is an instrument in itself, essential to expressing the soul of the music. Each bow is unique and handcrafted using techniques that haven’t changed since the early 1800’s. Can this old-world craft survive in a time dominated by technology and fast results?  Are we at risk of losing a sound essential to our soul? 

Follow the journey of the “silent servant” of music from the workshops of the Port Townsend masters to France where the modern bow began and to Brazil, home to the imperiled tree from which all bows originate. This is a film that will change the way you hear music.


Released in 2019
104 minutes
Tales from the Heart

Sponsored By
Screening With

Explore More Films

the tree of life.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 2.34.48 PM.png
Damned to extinction.png
Double Take Poster.jpg
eating up easter.png
echo in the canyon.png
ghost fleet.png
hearing is believing.png
jim allison.png
lobster war.png
mission control.png
return to mount kennedy.png
risking light.png
symbiotic earth.png
pura vida.png
Biggest Little Farm.png
The Bowmaker.png
Camino Voyage.png
The IF Project-final.jpg
The River and the Wall.png

Friday Harbor Film Festival Office

PO Box 2601, Friday Harbor, WA. 98250


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Office is currently closed due to COVID-19

Be mindful. Be kind. Be safe.

© 2021, Friday Harbor Film Festival

website design | coding by #morpheousstudios