Up-and-coming filmmaker Craig Mapp says, “If you can film an idea in your mind, follow that film idea shot for shot, scene for scene and enjoy it, that idea is worth making for the world to see. It can change someone’s life.”  Film lovers can experience a medley of such life-changing moments this October in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.  Two unique film festivals make an autumn getaway an artistic feast, as the “gourmet archipelago” sets the table to experience the bounty of the islands at its peak from mid-September to early November.

Watch films and then watch nature on Orcas Island at Doe Bay Resort and Retreat!

October 10-14, 2019 – The 6th annual Orcas Island Film Festival (OIFF) (www.orcasfilmfest.com), takes place in the arts-rich village of Eastsound, and features a curated selection of critically acclaimed international films and audience favorites direct from their debuts at the world’s greatest film festivals including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, Toronto, New York and Seattle. Many of the films are award contenders at the Oscars each year. Attendees will see them before their official theatrical release. Exciting Q&As by directors, actors, and other artists are a highlight of this intimate festival.

Me at the 2017 Orcas Island Film Fest!

October 25-27, 2018 – On San Juan Island on the last weekend of October, the 7th annual Friday Harbor Film Festival – Stories from the Pacific Rim & Beyond (FHFF) (www.fhff.org), carries forward the momentum of the past six years’ successes. In addition to award-winning documentary films, several premieres, and special events, this film festival focuses on the filmmakers themselves, with Q&A sessions from every filmmaker. Several venues within an easy walking distance of the ferry terminal, airport and floatplane dock, present the opportunity to discover the historic waterfront town’s galleries, museums, and shops without a car.

Friday Harbor Film Festival (Photo Credit: John Sinclair)

Lodging specials, farm tours and farmers markets on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands, and wine events are just a few of the signature events unfolding this fall during Savor the San Juans: A Celebration of Food, Farms & Film.

About Lesley Kilp

Lesley is the founder and editor of What's Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events.  She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.

View all posts by Lesley Kilp

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