D.C. area press were treated to a sneak preview of the ninth annual GI Film Festival this week at the Motion Picture Association of America. “Ten years ago, we walked into this building with an idea for a film festival dedicated to the men and women who serve our country. And we walked out with a commitment of support from the MPAA, a commitment that has endured nine years and running,” said Co-Founder and President, Brandon Millett.
The festival started as a three-day film festival in 2007 and has grown into a seven-day event that has helped usher hundreds of films into worldwide acclaim, including many by military veteran filmmakers. In addition to a West Cost army base tour, the festival also includes a show on the DOD News Channel, which is broadcast to all military bases worldwide and into 30 million homes via cable/satellite television.
The GI Film Festival, the nation’s first and only military themed film festival, referred to as “Sundance for the troops,” by Bloomberg. GIFF’s mission is to foster a positive image for men and women in uniform and to connect service-members to society.
Laura Law-Millett, co-founder and director, promises that this year’s festival includes “the best, most diverse collection of movies we have ever had the privilege of screening – with more than 60 movies in all.”
This festival line-up features genres from sci-fi to drama to comedy, and even a stop motion action film. “The films will touch upon American conflicts from the Revolution all the way through the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan,” said Law-Millett. “They will address virtually every issue of importance to military veterans and their families – including post traumatic stress, suicide, employment and substance abuse – and always with a focus on finding inspiration and solutions.”
This year also includes films from military veteran filmmakers that do not have military service-related themes. The organizers see this an an opportunity to provide festival attendees a more broad and diverse entertainment experience.
The 2015 GI Film Festival will take place in D.C. and at the Angelika Film Center in Merrifield (across the street from Target) from May 18-24, 2015. Buy your tickets here.