And The Film Fest Winners Are …

Audience Choice awardees will receive a personalized metal salmon sculpture. Contributed Image


As in each of the last seven years, the Friday Harbor Film Festival is delighted to honor filmmakers who have done outstanding work on projects screened during the festival.

We are very pleased to present the following awards this year: Local Hero Award, two Laszlo Pal Emerging Filmmaker Awards, and Audience Choice Awards for the Best Short Film and the Best Feature Film.

The Local Hero Award is presented to a present or former resident of the San Juan Islands who has made outstanding contributions to our quality of life, impacting people, animals, the arts, health, or the environment.

The 2020 recipient is documentary filmmaker and photographer James Longley, who spent most of his childhood on San Juan Island. He will receive a personalized metal salmon sculpture made by Chuck Moen of Sandy, Oregon. Additional information about Longley’s work is available at

The Laslo Pal Emerging Filmmaker Award, recognizing emerging young talent in filmmaking, honors the legacy of Laszlo Pal, Emmy Award-winning director, cinematographer, writer, editor, and producer, who educated young filmmakers at the University of Washington.

The winning films were chosen by the votes of viewers of the Student Film Showcase. This award is presented to the creators of the festival’s best student short films in two age categories.

The winning filmmaker age 11-17 years is: Madelyn Cross for “Hamsters and Friends.” The winning filmmaker age 18-26 years is Maxfield Biggs of Brooklyn, New York for “Stomach of the Earth.” Each winner will receive a Lewis and Clark Compass.

The Audience Choice Awards are presented to the filmmakers whose films were chosen by audience votes in two categories: Best Short Film and Best Feature Film. Two films tied to win in each category. Each awardee will receive a personalized metal salmon sculpture made by Chuck Moen of Sandy, Oregon.

The Best Short Films are Vertical films: “The Future of Farming,” directed by Scott Morris and Jay Windland of Kirkland, Washington (, and “Through Her Eyes: The Science and Beauty of Inter-tidal Life in the Salish Sea,” directed by Michael Noonan, Ph.D. of Friday Harbor, Washington.

The Best Feature Films are “Love is the Way,” directed by Jeremy Là Zelle and Kristin Gates (, and “Our Gorongosa,” directed by James Byrne of Amsterdam, Holland (

Recordings of the live-streamed Q&As with filmmakers are available free for viewing at through October 31.

Posted on October 28, 2020 at 5:30 am by

Categories: Arts, Entertainment

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