Arts and Entertainment

First-ever Friday Harbor Film Festival: 'Stories From Around the Pacific Rim'

The Pacific Islands Research Institute and Telluride Mountain Film are joining forces to present the 1st annual Friday Harbor Film Festival.

Scheduled Oct. 11-13, 2013, the Film Festival will feature a series of award-winning documentaries that explore the diversity of the Pacific Rim. The festival will host a variety of films about island cultures and about the marine environment of one of the largest features on the planet earth: the Pacific Ocean.

Many of the directors and producers of the documentaries will be on hand throughout the event to introduce their films, offer workshops on documentary film-making and to simply mingle with film-goers and answer questions.

Three venues have been reserved, San Juan Community Theatre's Whittier and Gubelman theaters, and the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor. The festival begins Friday afternoon, Oct. 11, runs all day Saturday, Oct. 12, and culminates Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13, with a "wrap-up party" and with a showing of the most popular documentary as selected by audiences, similar to a People's Choice Award.

The festival kicks off Oct. 11 with a opening for producers, directors, sponsors and "Captain" ticket holders.

Three different levels of tickets will be offered, with varying prices and privileges: Deckhand - day pass; Fisherman -  entrance to all films and Sunday wrap-up party; Captain - sponsorship level includes entrance to all films, opening day festivities and Sunday wrap-up party.

The festival is spearheaded by Lynn Danaher, co-founder of the Pacific Islands Research Institute, who was inspired to bring a film festival to her hometown of Friday Harbor after attending the Banff Film Festival five times and the Telluride Mountain Film festival in spring 2011. All of the documentaries focus on the Pacific Rim and are acclaimed as educational, inspiring and insightful.

The purpose of the festival is two-fold: to attract visitors to the island in the fall shoulder season, and to raise awareness about the San Juans' Pacific Rim neighbors and the world. In addition, it is an opportunity to have professional filmmakers educate and inspire islanders and visitors of all ages in the art of filmmaking.

With its so-called "traveling film festival", Telluride Mountain Film offers a cinematic event that is easy to present, already coordinated with sponsors and filmmakers, and has a catalog of more than 500 films from which to chose. Visit for a look at three trailers from the type of documentaries the festival expects to feature.

To date, the film festival has received commitments totaling $10,000 in cash from three sponsors, and two commitments of services totaling $12,000. More donations are being sought. The festival is also seeking board members that want to get involved and two part-time staff to help in the coordination and to generate local sponsorships, and a volunteer coordinator.

Festival organizers hope to include any service club that would want to be involved in a variety of festival-related tasks.

All inquires of interest in sponsorships, board positions, staff or volunteer positions should be directed to Lynn Danaher, at Danaher can also be reached at FHFF P.O. Box 2627 Friday Harbor, WA, 98250, or 360-298-1939. Find Friday Harbor Film Festival on Facebook at



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