Wednesday, April 15, 2015

GI Film Festival Returns to DC, May 18-24

Sir Ben Kingsley will receive the GIFF Peaceful Warrior Award

From our friends at the GI Film Festival...

Ninth Annual "Sundance for the Troops" Runs May 18-24

Program includes appearances by Sir Ben Kingsley, Gary Sinise, Linda Powell, Luke Goss and Dolph Lundgren, along with Premieres of “War Pigs” and “Kajaki: The True Story”

The GI Film Festival (GIFF), the nation’s premier entertainment enterprise exclusively dedicated to presenting the veteran experience through film, television and special events, today announced its complete lineup for the ninth annual event, running May 18-24, 2015 in Washington, DC and Fairfax, Virginia.

“There is no shortage of fascinating stories from the military world and we’re proud to shine a spotlight on some of the most immediately compelling and heart-stirring portrayals of the veteran experience in film this year,” said GI Film Festival President Brandon Millett.

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. The festival features diverse portrayals of the veteran experience from international filmmakers through a wide variety of genres, including, for the first time this year, films from military veteran filmmakers which do not directly address the military experience.

This year’s seven-day program boasts a dynamic lineup of 60-plus films. In addition to the film program, the 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.

“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,” said GI Film Festival Director Laura Law-Millett. “In support of this vision, we’ve selected films which lend insight into the singular experience of military life by exploring universal topics of loss, healing, courage and transformation.”

Headlining the festival is the North American Premiere of “KAJAKI: The True Story, an unflinching modern British war film from the Oscar-winning producer of “The King’s Speech”, which tells the true story of bravery and brotherhood on the Kajaki Dam during the Afghanistan conflict. The World Premiere of “War Pigs,” a gripping WWII actioner from director Ryan Little and starring veteran tough guys Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Luke Goss lends star power to this year’s slate, while an advance screening of Melissa McCarthy’s satirical CIA thriller “Spy brings a comedic note to the program.

The diverse lineup encompasses every genre ranging from drama, action and comedy through specialty categories including documentary, animation and science fiction. The breadth of conflicts covered in this year’s program spans generations and takes filmgoers on a journey from the American Revolutionary War through modern day operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Spotlighted themes include helping veterans transition home, the transformative experiences of war, true courage in the face of longs odds, and confronting the shattering reality of war.


For the full 2015 festival and events schedule, please visit:


Washington, D.C. Premiere, 5/19, 6:00 p.m.
Julien Grincajgier, France, 17m, Narrative Short

A French veteran of the Second World War remembers a particular day. The day he met his old friend, Ludwig, a German soldier.


Washington, D.C. Premiere, 5/20, 9:30 p.m.
James Pronath, USA, 2014, 90m, Narrative Feature

In this 1950s style sci-fi thriller, John Henry, a down on his luck salesman, is given a chance at success by an alien visitor, trading technology for help in human experimentation. Blinded by his ambition, the salesman opens a doorway in which the alien can develop the means to control the human race. It's left to Detective Mike Washburn, who is investigating the missing persons reports, to get to the bottom of the disappearances.


GIFF Premiere, 5/21, 7:30 p.m.
Paul Feig, USA, 2015, 120m, Narrative Feature

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, desk-bound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.


U.S. Premiere, 5/22, 7:00 p.m.
Paul Katis, UK, 2014, 108m, Documentary Feature

A BAFTA nominated thriller from debut feature director Paul Katis, writer Tom Williams (Chalet Girl) and Academy Award winning Executive Producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin (The King’s Speech), KAJAKI. The True Story is a modern British war film which tells the true story of the bravery and brotherhood that took place on the Kajaki Dam in the midst of the Afghanistan conflict.

Scheduled Special Guest: Director Paul Katis


GIFF Premiere, 5/23, 10:30 a.m.
Lon Lopez, USA, 12m, Narrative Short

In the spirit of Robot Chicken, Team America: World Police and The Thunder birds, C.O.B.A.L.T. is a true Action Figure Action Movie. A plastic animated action in the story of Agent True who recounts her first day on the job, hunting down a terrorist cell. Done in painstaking traditional stop motion, C.O.B.A.L.T. is a good, old fashioned action movie if acted by action figures.

World Premiere, 5/23, 10:30 a.m.
Matthew Sanders, USA, 52m, Documentary Short

With no plan for travel, former Army Rangers Marty Skovlund and Leo Jenkins hop coal trains, hitch rides, and take international flights on a 21 day race against themselves in order to raise money for the non-profit the Gallant Few.

GIFF Premiere, 5/23, 1:00 p.m.
Kim Komenich, USA, 61m, Documentary Feature

On April 1, 1943, at the height of World War II, a basketball game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City by men who were about to go off to war. This was the first true collegiate national championship, and it featured the underdog University of Wyoming and the highly-touted St. John's University.

GIFF Premiere, 5/23, 1:00 p.m.
Tim Reid, USA, 18m, Documentary Short

The story of the African American Red Ball Express drivers whose efforts aided in the World War II victory. This film Includes interviews with drivers, and includes rare historical footage from World War II.

World Premiere, 5/23, 5:30 p.m.
Ryan Little, USA, 2015, 95m, Narrative Feature

A rag tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs must go behind enemy lines to exterminate Nazis by any means necessary. Directed by Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers), WAR PIGS is a WWII actioner starring Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Luke Goss, Chuck Liddell and Noah Segan.

Scheduled Special Guests: Actors Luke Goss and Dolph Lundgren

GIFF Premiere, 5/23, 8:00 p.m.
Ivan Kander, 13m, Documentary Short

This is the impossible true story of how Sgt. Rob Jones, a bilateral above the knee amputee, biked across the country in one of the coldest winters on record in order to raise money for veteran charities.

Washington, D.C. Premiere, 5/23, 3:30 p.m.
Alexis Korycinski, USA, 14m, Narrative Short

It's 1976 and petite 18-year-old Amy is among the first class of female cadets accepted into military service academies. Under incredible emotional and physical strain, Amy struggles to survive her first day, battling sexism, swallowing self-doubt, and fighting to prove she has what it takes.


GIFF Premiere, 5/24, 12:30 p.m.
Donald Feigel, USA, 57m, Documentary Short

1969. At a small US airbase in Soc Tran, South Vietnam, four courageous young men and their captain fight missions over a ten month period and experience night fighting aboard a Slick helicopter. Not realizing their own fate would bring them back together again forty years later in a small West Virginia town.

World Premiere, 5/24, 12:50 p.m.
Regan Young, USA, 29m, Narrative Short

Based on true events and people, Marza is the story of a U.S. Marine who befriends several Afghan children that change his life forever after bravely saving countless American and Coalition lives - at the expense of their own.

Washington, D.C. Premiere, 5/24, 3:00 p.m.
Darroch Greer, 2015, 120m, Documentary Feature

The story of 'The Millionaires' Unit' is about a group of Yale college students who form a private air militia to learn to fly in preparation for WWI. The First Yale Unit became the founding squadron of the US Naval Air Reserve. They become the first to fly and the first to die for the US in the Great War. Over six years of development and production, the film crew has worked closely with Unit family members, unearthing archival treasures in small and major archives in the US and Europe. Filming occurred up and down the Eastern Seaboard and in England, France, Belgium and New Zealand.

East Coast Premiere, 5/24, 12:50 p.m.
Henry Hughes, 25m, Narrative Short

Divorce is a life sentence for Feda, a thirty-year-old Afghan American woman pushed aside by her conservative community for being divorced with no kids. Taking control of her life, she uses her one marketable skill as a bilingual immigrant, returning to her birthplace as an interpreter for US forces in Afghanistan. On her first day on the job, she must help deliver the baby of a bomb maker’s wife.

Ticket prices range from $12 for a matinee screening with filmmaker Q&A to $350 for a festival “all access” pass providing access to all official GIFF screenings and special events. A limited supply of GIFF “all access” passes are available now. Single event tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

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, visit: