Sunday, May 8, 2016

GI Film Festival Returns to Washington, DC Area

Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band performs at the Howard Theatre, May 21st

From our friends at the GI Film Festival...

Tenth Annual "Sundance for the Troops" Runs May 21-29

Program includes appearances by Val Kilmer, Gary Sinise, Stephen Lang, J.W. Cortes, Pablo Schreiber, Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

The GI Film Festival (GIFF), the nation’s premiere entertainment enterprise exclusively dedicated to presenting the veteran experience through film, television and special events, today announced its complete lineup for the 10th annual event, running May 21-29, 2016 in Washington, DC and Fairfax, Virginia.

“This is the most power-packed and diverse line-up of movies we have featured over our ten-year history,” says GI Film Festival President Brandon Millett. “This festival will confront every challenge facing our nation’s military veterans and their families, showcasing some of the most incredible stories of heroism you have ever seen. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, covering your eyes. Come to GIFF X and you’ll experience every single conceivable human emotion. It will be unforgettable.”

Hailed by Bloomberg News as “Sundance for the Troops,” the GI Film Festival’s mission is to preserve the stories of military veterans through film, television and dynamic live special events. Since 2007, the GIFF has spearheaded the lead-up to Memorial Day in our nation’s capital by offering the country’s most expansive view of military themes on film. Including, for the first time this year, on Sunday night May 22, a special event honoring women in the military including a short film showcase and panel discussion.

Kicking off this year’s 10th anniversary festival will be world-renowned actor Gary Sinise, a supporter of GIFF since year one. Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will play a concert featuring favorite cover tunes at the Howard Theatre on Saturday, May 21. Sinise states, “The GI Film Festival has become the ‘go-to’ place for military-themed movies. Anyone and everyone with a military-themed film will end up at the GI Film Festival, or at least trying to get in."

Also highlighting the festival will be a 30th anniversary screening of the military classic Top Gun, with a scheduled appearance from actor Val Kilmer, on Wednesday, May 25 at Angelika Film Center in Fairfax, Virginia, followed by an 80's after party. On Thursday, May 26, GIFF will host an advance screening of the new film X:MEN: Apocalypse, for Wounded Warriors, including a special message from director Bryan Singer. Friday night, May 27, will see the world premiere of the zombie action comedy Range 15, starring William Shatner, Sean Astin and Danny Trejo, followed by an after party.

This year’s nine-day program boasts a dynamic lineup of 75-plus films. In addition, GIFF will offer interactive Q&As with filmmakers and on-screen talent, embassy soirees, live music, stand-up comedy, star-studded red carpets, and awards ceremonies, all honoring and lending a voice to the veteran community.


For the full 2016 festival and events schedule, please visit: Details, including screening times, subject to adjustment.

Sunday, May 22 (Burke Theater at U.S. Navy Memorial)

5/22, 12:15 PM
US Premiere
Bo Brinkman, 94 minutes, Narrative Feature

A WW2 veteran destined for life in a retirement home escapes his difficult family situation and embarks on a cross-country adventure to find the last remaining members of his B-17 bomber crew with the help of a beautiful accomplice.

May 22, 2:30 PM
East Coast Premiere
Mike Rott, 69 minutes, Documentary Feature

In many ways, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson (USAF) was fighting a fierce battle before, during and after his days as a Tuskegee fighter pilot (Red Tail) in World War II. Jefferson, 92, was shot down during a mission and spent nine months in Stalag Luft III, a Nazi P.O.W. camp, and location of 'The Great Escape.' When liberated by Gen. Patton's 3rd Army, Lt. Col. Jefferson unknowingly became an eye witness to the atrocities at the Nazi Concentration Camp... Dachau. This film is a fascinating account of bravery, perseverance, and character. When he wasn't fighting for his country, Jefferson was battling racism in his country.

May 22, 4:20 PM
East Coast Premiere
Rebecca Murga, 13 minutes, Narrative Short

After being hit, a U.S. soldier flashes back to her Guatemalan childhood and the dangerous 2,000-mile journey she took to reach the American border.

Tuesday, May 24 (Embassy of Canada)

May 24, 6:00 PM
World Premiere
Maria-Nicole Miriklis, 15 minutes, Documentary Short (International)

Around a campfire, three infantry veterans candidly talk about their experiences in Kandahar. Relying on helmet camera footage from their tour, the film contrasts the here and there, delivering an unforgettable insight into the warrior psyche.

Wednesday, May 25 (Angelika Film Center)

May 25, 7:00 PM
Special 30th Anniversary Screening
Tony Scott, 110 minutes, Narrative Feature

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom. Special guest: Val Kilmer

Thursday, May 26 (Angelika Film Center)

May 26, 7:00 PM
Advance Screening
Bryan Singer, Approx. 120 minutes, Narrative Feature

With the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan. Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy

Friday, May 27 (Angelika Film Center)

May 27, 12:00 PM
East Coast Premiere
Paul Kakert, 61 minutes, Documentary Feature

During Nixon’s policy of Vietnamization, 26 US troops are caught in the transition. After surviving a brutal 3-day siege, 21-year-old Special Forces Captain William Albracht leads a daring escape and evasion past thousands of enemy troops. This is their story. Told by the men who survived. In their own words.

May 27, 5:30 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
Justin D. Roberts, 94 minutes, Documentary Feature

No Greater Love explores what an Army Chaplain learned from his group of soldiers; soldiers that come from all kinds of backgrounds, races, and religions. It addresses what helped them come together and even be willing to die for one another.

May 27, 8:30 PM
World Premiere
Ross Patterson, 95 minutes, Narrative Feature

A group of veterans wakes up after a night of partying to find out that the zombie apocalypse has spread across the United States. Together, they must fight their way across the country to find a cure for the outbreak and restore freedom before it's too late. Stars: William Shatner, Sean Astin, Danny Trejo. Special guests: Cast members from the film.

May 27, 8:15 PM
Special Screening
Craig Gillespie, 117 minutes, Narrative Feature

The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.

Saturday, May 28 (Angelika Film Center)

May 28, 10:00 AM
Washington, DC Premiere
Tyler Trumbo, 15 minutes, Documentary Short

As a child, Patrick Humphrey had no idea his father became a spy for the US government. Frogman delves into the sacrifices and burdens of a family where keeping secrets became part of the job and explores how much we can really know someone through the stories we inherit.

May 28. 10:30 AM
World Premiere
Sara Vladic, 98 minutes, Documentary Feature

The Legacy Project tells the fate of the World War II heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis using exclusively first-person accounts. The last crew and their families share gripping stories of kamikaze attacks, invasions, a secret mission, and ultimately a devastating torpedo attack that killed three-fourths of the crew. The survivors recall the five days they spent floating alone in the Pacific Ocean, their miraculous rescue, and how they fought together to clear their captain's name.

May 28, 12:45 PM
GIFF Premiere
Joseph Cahn, 104 minutes, Documentary Feature

A reluctant, anti-Nazi German Platoon Leader, who became a POW is recruited by his captors to be a U.S. Government agent, then finds a career with a small U.S. company owned by Orthodox Jews.

May 28, 3:15 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
Tom Donahue, 88 minutes, Documentary Feature

The U.S. military faces a mental health crisis of historic proportions.  Thank You for Your Service takes aim at our superficial understanding of war trauma and the failed policies that result.

May 28, 5:40 PM
GIFF Premiere
Larry Brand, 78 minutes, Narrative Feature

Equal parts performance narrative and multimedia documentary, BEYOND GLORY tracks Stephen Lang's ten year odyssey performing his acclaimed one-man show telling the true stories of eight real life Medal of Honor Recipients from the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Wars. Special Guest: Stephen Lang.

May 28, 7:45 PM
East Coast Premiere
Ted Martland, 13 minutes, Narrative Short

An acting class becomes an unexpected battle for a young combat veteran.

Sunday, May 29, 2016 (Angelika Film Center)

May 29, 10:00 AM
World Premiere
Luke Holton, 37 minutes, Documentary Short

Adventurmentalism mirrors an emotional testimony of living in South East Alaska after fleeing from broken conventional lives in Mequon, Wisconsin and Reno, Nevada. The film’s goal is not to focus primarily on the personal aspect of our stories, but rather a powerful aspect of art and film as therapeutic tools.

May 29, 10:30 AM
East Coast Premiere
Fred Koster, 104 minutes, Documentary Feature

The true heroic story of friendship between American Military Legend, John Ripley and one of South Vietnam's most decorated Heroes, Le Ba Binh and their fight against communists during Vietnam War and the aftermath of fall of Vietnam as Ripley goes home to divided America while Binh's imprisoned in a re-education camp.

May 29, 1:00 PM
U.S. Premiere
Tom Getty, 96 minutes, Narrative Feature

A U.S. Marine is framed for a deadly terrorist bombing. He must set out and find the terrorists actually responsible.

May 29, 3:30 PM
GIFF Premiere
John Davies, 58 minutes, Documentary Short

HEROES ON DECK reveals the little-known story of how more than one hundred WWII aircraft ended up on the bottom of Lake Michigan and their link to US victory in the Pacific.

May 29, 6:30 PM
Special DVD Release Screening
Michael Bay, 144 minutes, Narrative Feature

As an American ambassador is killed during an attack on a U.S. compound in Libya, a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos. Special Guests: Cast members Pablo Schreiber and Dominic Fumusa as well as Benghazi heroes John "Tig" Tiegen, Mark “Oz” Geist and Kris "Tanto" Paronto.

2016 GIFF X sponsors include:
GEICO Military
American Airlines
TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Magellan Federal
The Gary Sinise Foundation
Paramount Pictures
American Heroes Channel
Military Times
Stars and Stripes

About GI Film Festival:
GIFF, a 501c3 non-profit organization, described as “Sundance for the Troops,” preserves the stories of veterans through film, television, training and special events. GI Film Festival events provide an exceptionally diverse line-up of programming, covering all branches of service, every major conflict, and every major film genre while addressing a variety of issues of concern to the veteran community, including post-traumatic stress, homelessness, and unemployment. For more information, please visit

Ticket prices range from $15 for a matinee screening with filmmaker Q&A to $500 for a festival “all access” pass providing access to all official GIFF screenings and special events, including the Lt. DanBand concert. A limited supply of GIFF “all access” passes are available now. Single event tickets go on sale Monday, April 25, 2016.