GI Film Festival — Coming to DC May 18-24

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

I was very lucky to be able to attend a preview of the upcoming 9th annual GI Film Festival, coming to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax, Virginia May 18-24, 2015.  Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett started the festival, the first ever devoted exclusively to films by, for, and about the military and veterans.  Their goal is to promote positive images for men and women in uniform and help connect the military to society.  They have also worked to make the films shown at the festival available on military bases and through the Defense Department’s television channel.  This year will be their biggest and most varied yet, with more than 60 films covering every category from a big studio premiere (“Spy” with Melissa McCarthy) and the first American showing of the BAFTA-nominated “Kajaki” to small independent productions from military veterans.  The films cover American military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, with stories about training, missions, battles, recovery from injuries, and adjustments on returning home.  And the films include genres from sci-fi to drama, comedy, and documentary.  Submissions are received via Without a Box, and reviewed for two criteria: Would you spend $10 to buy a ticket? and Do you walk away with a greater appreciation for what military do on a daily basis?  The focus is on stories that are inspirational and solutions-oriented.

We got a chance to watch two of the festival’s short films, including a documentary about Marine veteran Bob Jones, who lost both legs to an IED and rode a bicycle across the country to raise money for veterans.

They’ve put together an extraordinary schedule.  Stay tuned for more information.

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