Submitted by the Friday Harbor Film Festival
Friday Harbor Film Festival’s annual “Best of the Fest” series continues during February. Award-winning, impactful feature films and shorts from the 2019 festival are being shown every first and third Tuesday from January through May at the Grange beginning at 7 p.m. These screenings are free, although donations are encouraged.
The line-up includes:
John Schlesinger Award 2019 winner at the Palm Springs International Film Festival: “Ghost Fleet,” directed by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron.
“Ghost Fleet” takes a close look at Thailand’s fishing industry, which supplies a large portion of the world’s seafood. The country’s giant fishing fleet is chronically short of up to 60,000 fishermen per year, leaving captains scrambling to find crew. Human traffickers have seized upon the labor shortage, selling captives from across Southeast Asia for a few hundred dollars each. Once at sea, as many as 4,000 men often go months, or even years, without setting foot on land. Beaten, starved and held in cages, they are forced to work for little or no pay. This eye-opening film follows a small group of activists who risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen. Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, a Thai abolitionist, has committed her life to helping these “lost” men return home. Facing illness, death threats, corruption and complacency, Tungpuchayakul’s fearless determination for justice inspires her nation and the world. Released in 2018, 90 minutes.
Audience Choice Award for the “Things To Consider” category: “The Zen Speaker” directed by Robin Greenspun.
“The Zen Speaker Breaking the Silence” is the story of Amy Ayoub, a prominent Nevada businesswoman, who found the courage to overcome her shame about the trauma she’d kept hidden for 38 years. A personal portrait, the film explores the emotional and physical devastation associated with sex trafficking — being a survivor, having a public versus a private persona, and finding one’s voice in unexpected ways. In 2012, Amy learned about Nevada Assembly Bill 67, which would establish sex trafficking of children and adults as a crime, give victims the right to sue their traffickers and impose harsher penalties on the traffickers. Amy knew it was time to tell her story, whatever the consequences for her personal and professional life. The film charts Amy’s transformational journey from a tumultuous childhood in Las Vegas to her emotionally wrenching testimony in 2013 before the Nevada State Legislature. Released in 2019, 99 minutes.