Movies

Stories of Military Veterans to be Honored at the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego

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The 5th annual GI Film Festival will be returning to San Diego, showcasing 34 films, documentaries, narratives, features, and shorts about the untold triumphs, struggles, and experiences of our service members and veterans. The films will primarily be screened at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park and Ultrastar Cinemas at Hazard Center. 

The GI Film Festival is organized by PBS in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego and the GI Film Group. The organizations are dedicated to expanding the reach of film and production, and this festival is powered through their ability to preserve and tell the stories of our brave armed forces and veterans. 

All Access Passes and tickets available at GIFilmFestivalSD.org

Family Movie Night – September 6 

Preceding the festival, attendees have the chance to participate in Family Movie Night aboard the USS Midway Museum. ‘Captain Marvel’ will be screening, and festival-goers are encouraged to dress in their best superhero gear. You’ll also have the chance to meet Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, the film’s military adviser and first combat female pilot. 

Film Selection for the 2019 GI Film Festival 

#3 Normandy Lane (2019)

Army wife and young mother Sarah Winston’s life is forever altered when a series of visitors arrive on her doorstep. Directed by Brenda Strong, the 21 narrative short will premiere on Friday, Sept. 27 at 6:15 pm at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

XVII Carvings 

Marine Corps veteran Anthony Marquez details his newfound purpose in life of honoring his fallen fellow Marines that his unit lost in Afghanistan. Doing so by carving with chainsaws a “Battlefield Cross” for every Gold Star family affected by the loss, the documentary follows each hand delivery he makes to these families. The 2017 five-minute documentary short was directed by Manny Marquez and Jesse Larvick. The world premiere will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1:00 pm at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

The Black String 

After a lonely store clerk goes off on a blind date, strange things begin to happen as his world unravels in a horrifying fashion. The Narrative Feature Directed by Brian Hanson premieres on Friday, Sept. 27 at 9:00 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Deviant 

A teenager finds faith after experiencing the horrific tortures of electrotherapeutic conversion therapy. DISCLAIMER: This film contains graphic sex-related scenes that some viewers may find disturbing or uncomfortable. The 10-minute Narrative Short directed by Benjamin Howard premieres on Friday, Sept. 27 at 6:15 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The Donut Dollies 

In 1968, two best friends flew into a war zone wearing powder blue dresses, with the sole mission of cheering up weary GI’s in Vietnam. 47 years later, they reminisce on the impact they made, sharing their stories for the first time. Norm Anderson’s 2018 Documentary Feature premieres on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

Entrenched 

Four Australian soldiers are faced with the tough decision of deciding whether a captured small Afghani boy is spying on their position or simply playing. The Narrative Short directed by Joey Chebatte premieres on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Escape by Sea

After two Scandinavian soldiers flee the French Foreign Legion by jumping into the Strait of Malacca, they are faced with their greatest challenge yet: surviving.  Based on true events, Eero Heinonen’s Narrative Short premieres on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

FINDING SATAN 

A retired soldier searches far and wide for his military dog, Satan, after being separated in the chaos of war. FINDING SATAN tells the story of the unbreakable bond between soldiers – one human, one canine – forged in the fires of the desert and never wavering in strength over time. The Documentary Short directed by Jon Daniel Cornet premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

Homemade 

A six-year journey into the study of how a highly decorated and combat wounded Force Reconnaissance Marine has coped with the struggles of PTSD, brain injury, addiction, marriage, and navigating life after the war. Documentary Feature directed by Jason Maris and Danielle Bernstein premieres on Wed., Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The Invalid Corps 

When a Confederate General raided the very gates of Washington D.C. during the Civil War, the only defenders of the nation’s capitol included the likes of clerks, government officials, and Invalid Corps, made up of men injured and from the war. This tells the true story of their valiant effort in holding the city until reinforcements arrived. Day Al-Mohamed’s Documentary Short premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

It’s Mine 

A battalion commander in the armored corps of the Israeli forces is faced with a shadow of doubt regarding his career amongst a troubled marriage. The Narrative Short directed by Amit Hay and Ben Shlomo premieres on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The Man I Want to Be 

Telling the story of Billy Nichols, a gay boy growing up in the 70’s who happens to be the son of one of the most decorated fighter pilots in the Vietnam war. It exemplifies his personal story of fear and bravery, and what it means to be a man. Devin Scott’s Narrative Short will premiere on Fri., Sept. 27 at 6:15 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Mosul 

A gritty story of the militias that banded together to liberate Iraq’s second largest city from ISIS. Daniel Gabriel’s Documentary Feature premieres on Wed., Sept. 25 at 5:15 p.m at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Ocean Station November 

The true story of the Corps Guardsmen who responded to a distress call from a trans-oceanic liner, and their brave effort to rescue those trapped at sea. The Documentary Short directed by Damon Stuebner premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas Hazard Center.

Others May Live: American Patriot 

Vietnam veteran Bobby Shelton recounts his time in service and abroad during the war. Matthew Black’s Documentary Short premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

The Real Thing

A soldier returns home to meet his daughter, who transitioned while he was on tour. Narrative Short directed by Brandon Kelley premieres on Fri., Sept. 27 at 6:15 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

REDDOG

Based on the true events of a U.S. Marine who takes an unlucky step while traversing the dangerous desert of Afghanistan. Will Whitney’s Narrative Short premieres on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at The Museum of Photographic Arts.

Remains 

A team of archaeologists and U.S. service members search for the remains of a fallen soldier from the Vietnamese jungles. Documentary Short directed by Jose Rodriguez and Joe Day premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

SCRAMBLE THE SEAWOLVES

A ragtag team becomes the Navy’s most decorated squadron during the Vietnam war. The Documentary Feature directed by Jeff Arballo premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 5:45 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center 

A Serving Story 

Made by two Rancho Bernardo students as they shine light on the experiences of two military families. The Documentary Short directed by Mackenzie Bivin and Zach Camerino premieres on Wed., Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

A Soldier’s Way 

Follows the story of two soldiers in Afghanistan, and how the war affected their personal lives in very different ways. The Narrative Short directed by Adam Dietrich and Elliott Gilbert premieres on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Sunken Roads: Three Generations After D-Day 

A young man joins a group of D-Day veterans on their pilgrimage to retrace their route during the invasion of the Normandy Beaches. The 90 minute Documentary, Feature directed by Charlotte Juergens premieres on Sat., Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

Take Me Home Huey 

Documenting artist Steve Maloney’s transformation of a wounded warbird into a colorful sculpture. As the warbird becomes whole again, we are shown the stories of Vietnam veterans and families, and the dialogue that is created to help encourage a whole new life of healing. The Documentary Short directed by Alicia Brauns, Christine Steele, and Steve Maloney will premiere on Tues., Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. 

Team River Runner: Beyond Paddling 

A documentary film about a national volunteer program helping wounded and disabled war veterans heal through whitewater paddling sports. The 30 minute Documentary Short directed by Takayuki Yamato and Kirk Hewitt premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

This One Step 

A young veteran and his wife must relearn the rhythm of their relationship that has been complicated by PTSD. The 5-minute Narrative Short directed by The RAY SISTERS premieres on Fri., Sept. 27 at 6:15 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

ISLAND SOLDIER 

Featuring interviews of Micronesian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, ISLAND SOLDIER follows their journey from their remote islands in the Pacific to the hot desert of Afghanistan. Nathan Fitch’s Documentary Feature will be playing on Sat., Sept. 28 at 3:30 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

Under the Needle 

Showcasing how the art form of tattoos can be therapeutic for veterans suffering from PTSD. The 7-miunute Documentary Short directed by. Lee Robinson premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

Vietnam Aftermath 

The horrors of war never end, even after coming home. This tells the story of four vets that have decided to share their experiences for the first time. The 30-minute Documentary Short directed by Tom Phillips premieres on Sun., Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center.

The Whistleblower of My Lai

A visceral telling of one of the most shameful points of the U.S. military – the My Lai Massacre. Connie Field’s Documentary Feature premieres on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. 

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