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Film Festival Celebrates Military and Veteran Stories

KPBS partners with GI Film Group and Film Consortium San Diego; Submissions from local filmmakers due August 10, 2015

GI Film Festival San Diego logo

— KPBS, in collaboration with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego, will bring the award-winning GI Film Festival, the nation’s first and only military film festival, to San Diego in the effort to honor and preserve the stories of America’s armed forces. The GI Film Festival, hosted annually in Washington, DC, will make its first trip to San Diego and will feature a variety of films for, about, and by service men and women. The multi-day event will culminate in a local film showcase exclusively featuring San Diego area filmmakers, locations, and actors.

Running Tuesday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, the festival aims to reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of the military through compelling and authentic storytelling. All major film genres will be featured including dramas, documentaries, shorts, and personal narratives. The festival concludes with a local film showcase curated by the Film Consortium San Diego followed by an awards ceremony. Local filmmakers interested in participating in the festival can review submission requirements and categories on the Film Consortium’s website. Deadline for submission is August 10.

The festival is part of an expanding station initiative to better serve local military with meaningful content. Such content includes a four-part radio series called Incoming which aired in May and featured stories written and narrated by local veterans. KPBS also contributes to the NPR series Back at Base, a multi-station collaborative chronicling the lives of U.S. troops in their local communities. By presenting the GI Film Festival San Diego, KPBS will continue to build on its military-related content and engagement programs.

“We are excited to partner with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego on this project,” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo. “We are all organizations that value great storytelling. KPBS looks forward to showcasing some amazing films. I am confident filmgoers will come away having learned something new and with a deeper appreciation for our service members and the sacrifices they make.”

Now in its tenth year, the GI Film Group produces and curates the annual GI Film Festival which takes place each May in Washington, DC and Virginia. The San Diego festival allows the GI Film Group to extend their mission of preserving and sharing the stories of America’s GI to a new audience in San Diego.

”We are so grateful to KPBS and Film Consortium San Diego for bringing the GI Film Festival to a city with such a rich military tradition,” said GIFF Co-founder Laura Law-Millett. “As a US Army Veteran and West Point graduate, I especially appreciate the unique power that film lends to the all-important mission of connecting service-members to society at large. In support of this vision, the GI Film Festival San Diego will feature films which lend insight into the singular experience of military life by exploring universal topics of loss, healing, courage, and transformation.”

Photo credit: Provided by GI Film Group

Young British soldiers find themselves courageously fighting for each other's lives in a minefield.

The GI Film Festival San Diego kicks off with the 2014 British film, Kajaki: the True Story, a dramatic retelling of a harrowing rescue in the midst of the Afghanistan conflict. Additional events include a Hollywood preview, a family movie night aboard the USS Midway Museum, filmmaker talks, panel discussions, a career fair, and workshops on storytelling and breaking into the entertainment industry. Events will take place around San Diego County.

"With such a large population of both active and former military in San Diego, I'm excited to start tapping into all the diverse military stories that we have here,” said Jodi Cilley, founder and president of the Film Consortium San Diego. “We look forward to seeing what already exists for military themed films produced in San Diego as well as help inspire and mobilize filmmakers to start telling these rich stories."

Many of the events will be open to the public with special discounted opportunities for active duty personnel and veterans. KPBS will announce the festival schedule, ticket prices, and venues later this summer. Additional information is available at gifilmfestivalsd.org.

The GI Film Festival San Diego is sponsored by Qualcomm, Inc., National City Mile of Cars, and Lewis University with additional support from Scatena Daniels Communications. The festival is presented by KPBS in partnership with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego.

KPBS Contact

Claudine Casillas

(619) 594-4266 | email

About GI Film Group

The GI Film Group is a full service media company dedicated to preserving the stories of military veterans. GIFG is the production entity behind the award-winning GI Film Festival (GIFF), a 501 c(3), also known as “Sundance for the Troops,” which is held each May in Washington, DC. The festival is the first in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film.

About Film Consortium San Diego

The Film Consortium San Diego LLC is a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region and increases networking, employment, education, funding and distribution opportunities in film, television and new media. The Film Consortium holds the Fall Film Festival, San Diego Film Awards, Winter Film Showcase, Summer at the Drive-in and various other screening and networking events.

About KPBS

KPBS serves the San Diego community with news and entertainment programming that respects our audience with inspiring, intelligent and enlightening content. KPBS delivers this content via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media and will adapt and remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Local Film Showcase

GI Film Festival San Diego presented by KPBS- Local Film Showcase in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego.

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