D.C.'s Unique GI Film Festival Brings Our Warriors Close to Us
The GI Film Festival (GIFF), the nation’s only military film festival, begins Tuesday, May 15, and runs through Sunday, May 20. The festival of "Reel Stories, Real Heroes" commemorates, depicts and celebrates those of our citizenry who go to war in defense of our nation and of us. One big attraction will the May 17 advance screening of the action movie, "Battleship."
Tonight, the festival opens at the Newseum with a dinner honoring H. Ross Perot. Most movies will be shown at the Navy Heritage Center at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue; other sites include the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center and the Canadian Embassy. On May 15, Actor Joe Mantegna will be given the GI Spirit Award by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.). International Warrior Night will headlined by television personality Pat Sajak at the Canadian Embassy on Wednesday, May 16. On Saturday, May 19, there is a "Salute to Military Spouses Night" with the “Army Wives” cast.
The sixth annual GIFF film line-up offers 42 film screenings, movies that represent every branch of the military and span five wars. Over the course of the six-day event, the festival will offer 23 narrative films and 19 documentaries covering every genre conceivable – from action and adventure to drama and romance. With at least a dozen world-premiere screenings, GIFF offers plenty of opportunities to discover emerging directors, producers and actors.
Films include "The Red Rose of Normandy," "From Philadelphia to Fallujah," "Memorial Day," the graphic novel, "Bridges," "The Red Machine," "Least Among Saints" and "If I Should Fall."
The full program, including times and locations, is available on the festival’s website, GIFilmFestival.com/2012films.
“More than 200 films were submitted to GIFF this year. We were overwhelmed by the raw talent and emotion expressed in every film,” said Brandon Millett, co-founder and president of the GI Film Festival. “Our mission is to educate the public about the successes and sacrifices of the American military and there has never been a better festival line-up to more perfectly exemplify that mission.”
GIFF will also preview Peter Berg's "Battleship" from Universal Pictures on Thursday, May 17. The screening will take place during the festival’s Wounded Warrior Appreciation Night, where wounded warriors from the D.C. metro area will serve as the festival’s guests of honor.
“One of the best parts of the festival is every day is so different. Whether our guests are honoring the contributions of wounded warriors or walking the red carpet with famous actors, there’s a unique experience every night,” said GIFF co-founder and director Laura Law-Millett. Ticket prices range from $12 for a single film to $250 for a week-long VIP pass.
According to the GI Film Festival, it is "the only film festival in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film" and is "a 501 c(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to sharing the military experience in and out of the arena of war."