2023 FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL
Each year, the Friday Harbor Film Festival, located on beautiful San Juan Island, Washington, invites dedicated and talented filmmakers to showcase their documentary films’ unique ability to:

ENTERTAIN​
Entertain audiences through the art of compelling storytelling;

INSPIRE
Inspire audience members and filmmakers to be a force for positive change;

ENLIGHTEN
Enlighten all participants by conveying relevant information, creating awareness, and expanding appreciation of our fragile planet, diverse cultures, and those daring to explore new frontiers;

ENCOURAGE
Encourage students to learn the art of storytelling through film by participating in the Young Filmmakers Project.

Select films will show at scheduled times during opening weekend, October 26 – 29, followed by filmmaker Q&As. Non-attending filmmakers can also participate in Q&A's in-theatre via livestream after their film screens.

The festival will host an in-person awards ceremony on Sunday 10/29. Festival awards in each category are selected by audience choice votes.

Feature documentaries, shorts, and student films will be available on demand October 30 - November 5, 2023, following the in-theatre festival weekend in Friday Harbor, WA.

The festival will feature films highlighting fascinating island cultures, marine ecology, heroic adventures, sustainable agriculture, social justice, current environmental issues, and stirring stories of human interest.

SUBMISSIONS for FHFF 2023 are now open!
Read about our theme categories in the Requirements & Information section. We are accepting documentary features and shorts through August 1, 2023. Student films submission deadline is September 1, 2023..

FRIDAY HARBOR FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS are chosen by viewing audience voting. Award winners each receive a personalized metal salmon sculpture made by Chuck Moen of Sandy, Oregon.

- Feature Film Overall Audience Choice Award (screened following the awards ceremony)

- Short Film Overall Audience Choice Award (screened following the awards ceremony)

Feature Film and Short Film Categories by theme:
- Explorers and Adventures
- Things to Consider
- Tales from the Heart

Student Film Audience Choice Award in each age category -- 11-17 years & 18-26 years.

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS -- FESTIVAL REQUIREMENTS
All films should present the diverse cultures and environments of the Pacific Rim and beyond. They should feature fascinating island cultures, revealing marine ecology, heroic adventures, sustainable agriculture, social justice, current environmental issues and stirring human-interest stories.

We divide films by theme:

EXPLORERS & ADVENTURES
These films follow amazing people exploring our world. They showcase adventurous people on scientific and exploratory expeditions into remote areas of the planet – on land and in the sea. While following courageous explorers these documentaries also stress the need for preservation of our natural resources and the animals that share our world. Watch these to become aware of cutting-edge ideas and to revel in the exploits of others.

THINGS TO CONSIDER
These films explore the challenges we all face in the world, urging viewers to take action to solve problems. Topics range widely, including the impact of climate change, health concerns, the plight of wild animals, science, innovative gardening, and political action. Watch these to learn and be motivated to get involved.

TALES FROM THE HEART
These films tell human-interest stories. They describe extraordinary achievements, the beauty of nature, people who overcome adversity, or efforts to create a better world. Some feature interviews with amazing people. Others showcase the arts. Watch these for both information and inspiration.

Feature Documentary and Docudrama Films have a running time of 41 minutes or longer.

Short Films have a running time of 40 minutes or less. They are not limited to documentaries.

Student Films are accepted in two age groups: 11-17 years and 18-26 years.
Include the filmmaker’s age with submission.

Student Films must have a running time of 2 to 15 minutes.

Live-action or animated documentary short films are acceptable.

COPYRIGHT AGREEMENT:
By entering this contest, all entrants agree that their submissions are original pieces of work, and do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others and are in compliance with all copyright laws. It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted film.

The Friday Harbor Film Festival disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third-party claims for copyright infringement.

It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to secure authorization and permission from the owner(s) of any and all trademarked content or materials included within the submitted film. The Friday Harbor Film Festival disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third-party claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Hanah Cincotta

    An amazing festival with many wonderful films and great communication! Deeply honored to not only have my short film, O’o: The Last voice of Kauai, screened but also to receive the Audience Choice Student Film Award, ages 18-26. Would highly recommend submitting to Friday Harbor Film Festival.

    December 2022
  • Vanessa Prigollini

    It was absolutely worth it going in person! Everyone was super welcoming and helpful. Great festival and even if i don't have another film to put in the festival for the short future, I'd love to go back in person. Thanks to everyone! PArticularly Karen and Lee, you rock!

    November 2022
  • Caravan Fantasia

    Wonderful communication throughout the duration of the festival and transparent online edition.
    Thanks a lot for including our doc tripleF*** into your line-up and for PR and raising awareness!

    June 2022
  • Really enjoyed being back at Friday Harbor, they are a great support to filmmakers

    February 2022
  • This is a first class film festival. Communication was fantastic throughout the process and the Q & A video session was very enjoyable. The interviewer had clearly taken time to watch the film and asked some great questions. My only regret was that the entire festival was virtual as I was hoping to visit the Island. Despite that, I thought the organizers put on a great virtual festival. It is clear that they care!

    November 2021