8th Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival


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Stream began October 19, 2020 3:00 AM UTC
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Welcome to the ANGELS ARE MADE OF LIGHT Livestream Q&A!

This is a recording of the live FILMMAKER Q&A ONLY and does NOT include the viewing of the film. Watch for free through October 31st!

Friday Harbor Film Festival congratulates James Longley for being honored at this year's festival with our annual LOCAL HERO AWARD!

THE LOCAL HERO AWARD is presented each year 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. 

SJIMA will feature the photography of James Longley in an exhibition titled, Looking Into Kabul beginning March 5, 2021. Through his intimate and nuanced photography In Looking into Kabul  we find beauty and hope.


James Longley, Director


A stirring and beautiful documentary from Academy Award-nominated director James Longley (Iraq in Fragments), Angels Are Made of Light traces the lives of young students and their teachers at a school in the old city of Kabul. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.

Director’s Statement 

Much of our mental image of Afghanistan is related to war. It’s easy to feel distanced from the normal lives of Afghans, we see so little of them. If we are asked to picture ordinary life in Kabul, our imaginations usually fail. Most of us don’t have those memories stored away. Many people find the very idea of traveling to a place like Afghanistan terrifying. What happens to our thinking about the people of a place we only ever see in conflict, from behind the barrel of a gun? 

Here, I am painting in some of that mental canvas with close-up memories of Afghan civilians. Through the safe and approachable world of a neighborhood school, the film encourages audiences to enter Afghanistan in their mind’s eye. Giving viewers the opportunity to think about Afghanistan from an interior, civilian perspective is the essential motivating idea behind the movie and how it was made.