Friday Harbor Film Festival

How to Do the Friday Harbor Film Festival

On the last weekend in October the quaint former fishing village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island magically transforms into a Pacific Northwest mini Cannes. Now in its seventh year, the acclaimed Friday Harbor Film Festival shows over 30 feature length documentaries from the Pacific Rim and Beyond, over 20 shorts as well as an array of student films in five venues all over completely walkable Friday Harbor. There is a festive Opening Night Gala, as well as a Film Maker Forum, moderated Q&A’s after each film (90% of screened films have a filmmaker in attendance, some from as far as Europe and Australia), and an unforgettable Awards Night.

Washington State Ferry in Friday Harbor
The Washington State Ferry docks right in downtown Friday Harbor

How to Get Here:

Park your car in Anacortes and walk on the Washington State Ferry for under $15 round-trip. The ferry docks right in Friday Harbor from where you can walk to your hotel, all festival venues, over 30 restaurants, shops, galleries and museums.


Earthbox Inn & Spa
The Earthbox Inn & Spa offers complimentary beach cruiser bikes to guests

Where to Stay:

We here at the Earthbox Inn & Spa are proud sponsors of the event, host many filmmakers and run amazing Fall lodging specials during the festival. Enjoy our indoor heated pool, sauna and hot tub after a long day of getting inspired and take our free beach cruiser bikes to the next movie or the nearest beach. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a soothing massage at our on-site, full-service spa.

How to Get Tickets:

Purchase your 5 pack, 10 pack, all access or Gala tickets online or indulge in a Patron Pass, including access to all special events and VIP seating.

Whale Watching in Friday Harbor
Many films at the festival  tackle issues close to our hearts and homes. Photo courtesy of Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching

What Not to Miss:

Several films in this year’s line-up, with daunting titles like “Dammed to Extinction”, “The Final Breach” and “Artifishal” tackle issues close to our island’s and region’s heart and home: the depletion of wild salmon and our struggling, endangered Resident Killer Whales. One of those, “For the Love of Salmon” depicts the story of 25 year old Keely Weget-Whitney of the Stl’atl’imx First Nation, as she swims 60 kilometers in the freezing cold waters of the Fraser River, illustrating the true impact of salmon depletion to our environment and her culture.

Good to Know:

From January through June films previously screened at the Friday Harbor Film Festival are shown every other Tuesday at Friday Harbor’s Grange Hall for free.