‘Be the change’ at the Friday Harbor Film Festival

A call to action permeated through this year’s Friday Harbor Film Festival (FHFF). Cinephiles were eager for the in-person return of the FHFF, bringing together filmmakers and fans in an intimate setting.

The FHFF illuminated eight screens across four theaters in the heart of Friday Harbor, Washington, making the festival easily accessible and walkable from any stay on the island. We stayed at Island Inn, literally steps from the Washington State Ferries terminal, with an adjacent staircase leading up to the center of town. Every theater, restaurant and cafe was a five-minute walk, plus we met our quota of steps for the weekend.

A stay at Friday Harbor’s Island Inn is ‘Off the Coast of Ordinary’This film festival entertained, enlightened, and inspired viewers to be, as founding member Karen Palmer stated during the opening night gala, “The change we want to see in ourselves and in the world.”

It is the mission of FHFF to exhibit “high-quality documentaries that tell crucial and timely stories, inspiring viewers with hope, and cultivating a call to action that will make the world a better place.”

I can attest they hit their mark with this year’s line-up of films, many of which were released this year.

Film festivals hold a special quality beyond the binge factor. This special ingredient is the filmmakers themselves. With 29 of the filmmakers in attendance at FHFF, participants heard directly from the creators and storytellers in the form of Q&A sessions, as well as a Filmmakers Forum, where moviegoers could learn about the filmmaking process firsthand. Both of these additions enhanced the festival experience and fostered a personal connection with the films.

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