Journal of the San Juan Islands


Film Festival success? Takes a village | Guest Column

November 2, 2013 · Updated 12:09 PM

Friday Harbor Film Festival / Contributed photo

By FH Film Festival's Lynn Danaher, Karen Palmer, Patricia Bolding

Special to the Journal

The Friday Harbor Film Festival could not have enjoyed such great success without the generous support of our sponsors, enthusiastic dedication of our volunteers and all the community members of Friday Harbor who participated in the first annual Friday Harbor Film Festival.

Thanks to all for extending such a warm welcome to our filmmakers and off island visitors, many who came to Friday Harbor for the first time. We had filmmakers travel from as far away as China and Hawaii to share their films and be available for Q & A.

The comment cards were full of compliments about how friendly everyone was, how they loved our little town and felt very welcome. There were several great suggestions made as well; we are taking them to heart so we can improve our future event.

Please let us know if you have any to add. info@fhff.org.

Some great statistics worth sharing: of the 1,100 tickets sold or given to volunteers or sponsors, 29.5 percent were from off island. Most of the screenings were approximately 66 percent full.

We are already planning our 2014 event and have been contacted by filmmakers for submissions. We will be accepting submissions after Jan. 1, and will make screening decisions by mid-summer. This will allow us plenty of time to design our program in time for the San Juan County Fair.

For those of you that ran out of time and were not able to see all the films you wanted to see, we will be designing a “how to fest” form, to maximize your opportunity to see all the films you want. We will be offering instruction during the fair how best to use the form. We had some participants see as many as 18 films and several in the 14-15 films range.

Also, for those who missed a film or want to see it again, we will be hosting screenings of most of the films shown during our first annual Friday Harbor Film Festival, two times a month on Tuesday evenings at the Grange, starting in January.

Watch for dates and announcements of films scheduled or go online to our web page; www.fhff.org/news/ and please sign up for our monthly newsletter.

We wanted to offer a special thanksto  our venues, SJ Community Theatre, Friday Harbor House and the Grange, plus to the leads and projectionists at each venue that made sure everything ran smoothly, Parin, Gene, John, Lynus, Ryan, Rob, Kirsten, Malcom and Ben.

We appreciate all the hotels that hosted our filmmakers and visitors, the Town of Friday Harbor for giving us a parking allowance, Matt Pranger for documenting the entire event thru his lens and providing us with great professional photos, Roxanne Angel and Scott Rasmussen at the Journal for great coverage, all our online news sources for news and schedules, with special thanks to Sharon Kivisto.

We owe a big debt of gratitude to the San Juan Island Visitors Bureau, who guided us in promoting this event throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

A special nod of appreciation to our volunteers: Marcy Hahn and Janet Ludwig for the "Soiree", Ellen Roberts and Lori Stokes for all the writing and editing of our program, newsletters and press releases, and to Carol Anderson for creating the Kidz Cinema.

Big Kudo’s Friday Harbor, for extending such a warm welcome to everyone that attended.

We are so lucky to live here.

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