Best of the Fest top award winners showing Jan. 15-28

Submitted by Friday Harbor Film Festival.

Don’t miss watching the winners of Friday Harbor Film Festival’s Overall Audience Choice Awards! The Six, best feature film, and Honor Thy Mother, best short film, will both stream January 22-28 at Orchestrating Change, the best Tales from the Heart feature film, paired with audience favorite The Black Stonefly, will be available January 15-21.

The Six, from filmmaker Arthur Jones, winner of awards worldwide: When RMS Titanic sank on a cold night in 1912, barely 700 people escaped with their lives. Among them were six Chinese men. Arriving in New York with the other survivors, the six were met not with compassion, but suspicion and slander. Less than 24 hours later, they were expelled from the country, soon forgotten, and lost beneath the waves of time. What became of them? The Six is an extraordinary story of survival and dignity in the face of racism and anti-immigrant policy that still reverberates today. The Six is sponsored by Friday Harbor Freight.

Honor Thy Mother, from filmmaker Lucy Ostrander: This is is the untold story of 36 Aboriginal women from Canada and Native women from tribes in Washington and Alaska who migrated in the 1940s to Bainbridge Island, the traditional territory of the Suquamish people. As survivors of Indian Residential Schools, they came, some still in their teens, to pick berries for Japanese American farmers, fell in love and married Filipino immigrants. They settled on the Island to raise their mixed heritage, (Indigenous mother and Filipino father) Indipino children. The voices of the Indipino children, now elders, are integral in the storytelling of their mother’s courage and resilience marrying Asian men and risking disenfranchisement from their 19 different tribes. Many Indipino children grew up in homes burdened with their father and mother’s traumatic, collective memory of the Island’s Japanese Americans forced removal after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in 1942. This short film is sponsored by Star Surveying.

Orchestrating Change, from filmmakers Margie Friedman & Barbara Multer-Wellen: This film tells the inspiring story of Me2/Orchestra, the only orchestra in the world created by and for people living with mental illness and those who support them. The orchestra’s mission is to erase the stigmatization of people living with mental illness through the creation of beautiful music, community, compassion, and understanding…one concert at a time. Most important, it is changing the lives of the musicians and audiences in ways they never imagined. Orchestrating Change is sponsored by San Juan Islands Museum of Art.

The Black Stonefly, from filmmakers Cody Lewis and Marc Rotse: Gian Lawrence is a fly fisherman and outdoorsman with a unique origin story. Growing up in Puyallup and Tacoma’s Hilltop, he fell into a life of crime, violence, and destitution until a near-death experience opened his eyes and his soul to the outdoors and a sport largely inaccessible for young black men like himself, fly fishing. This short film is sponsored by Windermere SJI.

FHFF greatly appreciates the work of the filmmakers, the generosity of our sponsors, and the support of all lovers of great documentary films. Check out everything on our website: