5 Great Reasons to visit the Friday Harbor Film Festival

Updated July 2018

The Friday Harbor Documentary Film Festival, established in 2013, prides itself on presenting stories from the Pacific Rim and beyond to entertain, inspire, educate and enlighten. Located in quaint Friday Harbor, on gorgeous San Juan Island, you get it all: small town feel and big city entertainment in paradise. I have been going to the festival ever since it started and can’t wait for this year’s event, taking place October 26-28, 2018. Make sure to check with us at the Earthbox Inn & Spa when booking your accommodations; we run an awesome specials. Here are my five favorite reasons to go. I’ll see you there.

  1. Excellent Movie Selections

The documentaries presented at the Friday Harbor Film Festival touch on the fragility of our planet, the yearning for positive change, a sense of place and the bravery to explore new frontiers. For a little taste, check out our very own Max Kessler’s film “Minimal Impact”, which was first screened at the 2016 festival. Max is the award winner from the film festival’s first Young Filmmaker's Award.

  1. Everything is in easy walking distance Friday Harbor’s downtown core is a mere three blocks wide and long. It is so much fun to walk from venue to venue, ducking into a coffee shop here and a bar there between screenings, bumping into folks, who do the same thing you are doing.

Cattlepoint Lighthouse on San Juan Island

  1. Learn new things while in Paradise

San Juan Island with its Orca whales, more Bald Eagles than anywhere else in the nation, stunning vistas and rugged coast lines is truly an experience. Make sure you set time aside to explore the island. Thanks to the Olympic rain shadow our Autumns are long and mild, gorgeous and dry.

Dogs love the Friday Harbor Film Festival

  1. Meet the Filmmakers

The Friday Harbor Film Festival is beautifully intimate and its artists unusually accessible. You may have the room next to a celebrity in our hotel or run into the camera guy from the last movie at dinner. There are Q&A sessions with the filmmakers after each screening. At the Filmmaker’s Forum the creators are available to discuss their work in more depth.

  1. Awesome Parties

Every year there is a fancy Opening Night Gala at the San Juan Community Theatre to celebrate those who use their art to create awareness and positive change. Dress up, be wined and dined and serenaded.

The grand finale of the festival will be Awards Night, when the audience choice awards will be presented and those, who have made exceptional change in our community through storytelling by film will be honored. There will be a very special surprise guest.