Inspiring Works From Rural Farms, Forests, & Charming Villages on the Salish Sea

Earth Day Film Fest, April 19-28

Earth Day Island Film Fest, April 18-28, 2024.

In collaboration with the Friday Harbor Film Festival, Earth Day Orcas presents a special collection of thought-provoking and inspiring environmental documentaries available April 19-28th to stream online. 

8 films . 10 days . Free with a pre-registered pass.

Featured Films

Covenant of the Salmon People

Director: Shane Anderson

Theme: Things to Consider

Running time: 60 minutes

Released in 2022


Covenant of the Salmon People is documentary portrait of the Nez Perce Tribe as they continue to carry out their ancient promise to protect Chinook salmon, cornerstone species and first food their people have subsisted on for tens of thousands of years.


Film Summary


The Nez Perce is the oldest documented civilization in North America, with archaeological sites along Idaho’s Salmon River dating back 16,500 years. The basis of this civilization, and cornerstone of their creation story, is an ancient covenant with salmon. It is woven into their culture, history, and their species restoration work.


The tribe is facing the extinction of Chinook salmon, despite decades of recovery efforts, due to widespread construction of dams across tribal lands. The dammed river system and climate changes threaten the salmon’s existence. Tribal members continue to honor their relationship, protecting the basis of their ancestral diet. Their only option to save the salmon from extinction is the breaching of four dams on the lower Snake River. Will the Federal Government take charge of the situation or sit idly by while this iconic species vanishes?

The Lost Salmon


Can a new genetic discovery save the king of salmon before it’s too late? 


Of all the Pacific Salmon, the spring run of chinook is the most revered. As the first salmon to arrive home annually, they have been the sacrament and cornerstone for the oldest civilizations in North America and the keystone of northwest ecosystems. Once occupying the most extensive range in the contiguous United States, many genetically unique populations have already been extirpated and what remains is at risk of extinction.  Filmmaker Shane Anderson set out on a two-year journey across Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho to document some of the last genuinely wild “springers,” the historical and ongoing causes of their declining numbers, and their profound relationship to the people and place.  Along the way, he tells the story of a recent scientific breakthrough that provides crucial new insights into salmon genetics. This could offer a path to help save the king of salmon before they are lost forever.


Released in 2022

Running time:  59 minutes

Director: Shane Anderson





Mark A. Dworkin and Melissa M. Young


30 minutes


Island community unites to protect nature and preserve rural life.


This film shows how a small organization mobilized its island community to protect forests, farmlands, and shorelines from development in order to preserve a healthy rural way of life.


About the Directors


Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young have produced documentaries on social justice and the environment for over 30 years. Their award-winning films have screened and won awards in prestigious festivals around the world including Chicago, Columbus, Seattle International, Women in Film Seattle, CINE in Washington DC, UN Association in Palo Alto, Los Documentalistas in Buenos Aires, Festival of New Latin American Film in Havana, Planet in Focus in Toronto, and Prix Leonardo in Italy. Six programs have aired nationally on PBS, the most recent Shift Change, about worker cooperatives in Mondragon, Spain, and across the U.S. Pacific Northwest productions include Islas Hermanas 1999, How Can I Keep on Singing? 2001, GOOD FOOD 2008, Cultivating Kids 2016, PLANE TRUTHS 2018, and EVER GREEN, 2022. Forthcoming later this year is a documentary about a remarkable network of worker cooperatives founded 10 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, dedicated to creating an economy that works for all.

Call of the Orcas  


Director: Jessica Plumb

Running time: 18 minutes

Released in 2023


Film Summary 


Call of the Orcas explores urgent efforts to protect the unique, endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, as seen through the eyes of one human champion, researcher Ken Balcomb. Can we learn to live in a way that sustains the orcas among us?


Call of the Orcas explores the urgent effort to recover endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales of the Pacific Northwest, through the eyes of one of their human champions, researcher Ken Balcomb, who passed away in late 2022. Balcomb’s determined survey work over nearly fifty years helped people see these orcas as individuals, in family groups, and led to a subspecies listing under the US Endangered Species Act. The story encompasses many perspectives on the unique orca culture of the Pacific Northwest, from an indigenous experience of orcas as family, to the lifelong commitment of Canadian researcher Dr. John Ford, who dedicated his career to documenting orca calls.



Our Sacred Obligation


Director:  Jordan Riber

Running time: 24 minutes

Released in 2023


Film Summary 


Our Sacred Obligation recounts the historic and now-threatened relationship between the Yurok Tribe and Klamath River salmon, as well as their leadership to protect it, recently leading to the decision to remove four dams on the Klamath River.


From the Elwha River to the Klamath, this powerful moment in history is only possible because of Indigenous leadership to restore life-sustaining salmon to abundance.


Our Sacred Obligation by Children of the Setting Sun Productions recounts the history of the Yurok Tribe’s struggle against the colonization of the Klamath River, which has sustained them since time immemorial. A land reclamation project and a series of dams have brought the Klamath River salmon populations to the brink of extinction. But the Yurok are fighting back. Propped up by their ancestors, and the recent success of the Klallam Tribe on the Elwha River, the Yurok are using their sovereignty to fulfill their sacred obligation to bring the dams down and restore the river.



Into the Stillaguamish

Directors: Jennifer Moslemi and Marita Davison

Running time: 11 minutes

Released in 2022


Film Summary 


In western Washington State, the Stillaguamish River ties together people, cultures, and livelihoods, all dependent on the river’s health. Into the Stillaguamish shows how one river can touch people from disparate walks of life who are brought together by shared interest in improving the river’s integrity.


Island Marble Butterfly Conservation

Host/Narrator/Writer:  Trent Lieber

Running time: 4 minutes

Released in 2023


Film Summary


An intimate look at the highly successful butterfly conservation program taking place at San Juan Island National Historical Park. The  endangered island marble butterfly is only found in American Camp on the south end of San Juan Island.






The Bench

Director: Sam Nuttmann

Running time: 4 ½ minutes

Released in 2023


Film Summary


As a piece of driftwood at sea it collides with another piece of wood, it moves down a strange path to becoming a bench. We also follow a path in life that leads us to whole new worlds and unexpected ways of being.


“The Bench” is a story of travel and transformation. We follow a path in life that leads us to whole new worlds and unexpected ways of being. But one thing is unavoidable – we are always changing. The story is simple and so is the imagery, letting nature and natural movements guide the way.

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