Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

21st Annual

The People vs Agent Orange: Opening Friday, March 5. Click for more information.

The 2021 festival is virtual and will include partnering with the PFC, co-presenting films throughout the year, and offering a "mini film series" in April. We're also a co-presenting sponsor of the monthly PFC Indie Lens/ITVS series. More information will follow on these events, please check back for more information and see our FB page!


Through an annual film festival BHRFF supports independent filmmakers, fosters dialogue and promotes action. For over twenty years, volunteer committee members have selected scores of insightful and moving films they hope will encourage the community to explore and engage with critical issues. Films are followed by facilitated discussion, some led by the filmmakers themselves.


In the past, we have acquired most of our festival films for continuous availability in the community. They are now in the Bellingham Public Library (BPL), Wilson Library at Western Washington University (WWU), or Whatcom Community College Library (WCC), accessible with a Bellingham Public Library card. Click on the "Film Archive" tab above to find a full list of films and which library they are in, as well as organizations you can contact to take action on the issues presented in the films. 


The Coronavirus pandemic has limited our ability to donate this year’s festival films to local libraries. We will give the libraries most of our festival films when they can accept them. However, the Bellingham Public Library has already acquired some of the 2020 festival films on their own. They are:  “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”, “Beyond Climate”, ”The Brainwashing of My Dad”, “Dammed to Extinction”, Our Bodies Our Doctors”, and “Racing Extinction”. These can be checked out now.

Mayor's Arts Award
BHRFF was one of 2015's recipients of the annual Mayor's Arts Awards.  The award recognizes "the film festival and the outlet it provides to filmmakers in addressing challenging issues".

BHRFF Recognition
Our festival has been listed in an article on the Audience Awards website as one of nine "Film Festivals That Are Making A Difference" in the U.S. 

We were honored by the community as shown in the 2019 October issue of “Bellingham Alive!” Magazine’s annual “Best of the Northwest” readers’ poll. We received third place for “Best Festival”.