Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

20th Annual

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


Through an annual film festival BHRFF supports independent filmmakers, fosters dialogue and promotes action. For 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.