The GI Film Festival San Diego, a military-themed film festival that solely presents films and events for, by and about military service members and veterans, announces a diverse film lineup for its first-ever virtual showcase happening Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2020. Films presented are curated by members of the GI Film Festival San Diego advisory committee. The lineup will focus on current events, women in the service, and treatment of Black service members post World War II. Admission is $10 and all proceeds support the festival. Each ticket holder will receive a unique URL that will take the user to the virtual screening room on the GI Film Festival San Diego website. The featured content and post screening discussion will all happen in the virtual screening room. Tickets will be available by Sept. 18 at gifilmfestivalsd.org.
The GI Film Festival San Diego has active support from several local military-related organizations, such as Project Recover, Workshops for Warriors, Travis Manion Foundation, Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Blue Star Families San Diego, American History Theatre, San Diego Military Family Collaborative, Armed Services YMCA, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, Courage to Call, and Joan & Art Barron Veterans Center at San Diego State University. Members of the advisory committee come from various military backgrounds, including veterans of the US Marine Corps, US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, US Coast Guard, as well as Air Force Reserves and several military spouses, all who volunteer their time, talent, and expertise to ensure the festival provides an authentic view of the military experience and engages its audience through post-screening discussions.
The two-day virtual showcase will feature up to six documentary films, including features, shorts and local productions. After each film block, there will be a post-screening discussion where viewers can hear from filmmakers, subjects and local experts to explore the important topics and issues raised in the films. All of the films selected highlight a different aspect of the military experience. From World War II to the Vietnam War to current events, the films selected have something for everyone. A few notable films include:
“In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen” tells the story of the first African American pilots of the US Army Air Force who protected the flying bombers during WWII;
“No Greater Love” depicts the combat deployment of the legendary “No Slack” Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, during the Afghanistan War through the eyes of Army Chaplain Justin David Roberts;
“Donut Dollies” is a poignant documentary that follows two best friends and former Red Cross Donut Dollies back to Vietnam to retrace their steps and ask whether they made a difference; and
“She Wore Silver Wings” offers insights into the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who served during WWII, told through Jean Landis, a San Diego County resident who was part of this elite group.
The global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated plans to reschedule the highly-anticipated GI Film Festival San Diego, which usually happens in the Fall. Organizers have moved the full festival to May 18-23, 2021.
“For six years the GI Film Festival San Diego has brought authentic military stories to the big screen,” says Nancy Worlie, associate general manager of content and communications, KPBS. “Not only do the films selected amplify the underrepresented voices of our active duty military, veterans, spouses, and caregivers, but also our local filmmakers who have an opportunity to showcase their work nationally. We’re excited to present our virtual showcase to provide a preview of what’s to come in Spring 2021.”
If you’re interested in submitting a film to the 2021 GI Film Festival San Diego, the Early Bird Deadline is coming up on Oct. 7, 2020.
For more information on how to participate in the GI Film Festival San Diego visit GIFilmFestivalSD.org.