FEATURED GUESTS

See Your Favorite Stars at GIFFX!

SATURDAY, MAY 21

The Howard Theatre

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You’re invited to join the GI Film Festival at Howard Theater in Washington DC for a LIVE Anniversary Concert with Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band to kick off GIFFX! Presented by TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Gary Sinise Foundation.

SUNDAY, MAY 22

The Naval Heritage Center

The Last Man Club is a story about four World War II veterans who served together on a B-17 Bomber. After losing touch over the years they each find themselves trapped in life circumstances and are all too compliant to live out their last days in their own “private little hell.”

At 93 years old, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson recalls his trials and tribulations from early childhood racism in America to his segregated military experience and overseas combat deployment in WWII. He tells of his stay as a P.O.W. in Nazi Germany and recalls his sobering walk through Dachau Concentration Camp, which was liberated only 2 days earlier. After heroically serving his country in the world’s worst war, Alex joyfully returned home only to be greeted by racism, bigotry and segregation. next move.

Join Angie Ricketts, Brenda Sue Fulton, Kate Holt, and Bobbette Brown for film screenings of American Girl, The Road Home, Three Fingers, and American Elements: Taya Kyle followed by a panel discussion about the hardships, the joys, and the triumphs of being a woman serving in the military and the challenges that lie ahead.

The panel discussion will include a Q & A session followed by free cocktails and dessert.

MONDAY, MAY 23

Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building

5:30 PM

10th Annual Congressional Reception

Get Passes
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The GI Film Festival 10th Annual Congressional Reception “Veterans in Transition: Welcoming Our Warriors Home.” VIP Passes and By Invitation Only.

TUESDAY, MAY 24

The Embassy of Canada
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Join the GI Film Festival for stories of courage and heart during our International Film Night at the Embassy of Canada. Showing a diverse range of experiences from around the globe, five films from five countries will be represented.

In this block, you’ll watch a touching film about one of the most famous poems in the world, you’ll witness a story about love and its true meaning, and you will experience the personal story of one-time teletypist to Hitler, Berlin-born Lisa Kirsch, and more. Following the five films there will be a post screening reception. Complimentary drinks and appetizers will be served from our sponsors at the Canadian Embassy, Brown Forman and Budweiser.

Film Screenings: Absent Without Love, Kissufim, On the Wrong Side, Just a Common Soldier, Warrior

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25

The Angelika Film Center at Mosaic

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Feel the need? The need for speed? Come dressed in your ’80s best and join us on the highway to the danger zone to celebrate the 30th Anniversary our America’s favorite Navy pilot film, Top Gun. Come watch the action-packed film and see Maverick, Charlie, Goose and Iceman on the big screen as if it were your first time.

THURSDAY, MAY 26

The Angelika Film Center at Mosaic

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The legend continues as mutant comic book characters come alive again on screen for an epic film that will place you on the front row of destruction in X-Men: Apocalypse. These characters will race against the four horsemen and against time to save the world from false demigods who seek to transmute their power for destructive means to wreak havoc worldwide.

Join them and feel the fury, the fear, the pain, and the power unleashed. GI Film Festival will host an advance screening of X-Men: Apocalypse on May 26th at 7:00 p.m. at Angelika Film Center.

Governor Jim Gilmore will open up the evening with an introduction of the nights events followed by X-Men’s director Bryan Singer’s taped film intro. There will be popcorn, drinks, an open bar and a chance to win a free gift bag followed by the film screening. Sponsors will include WMAL, 21st Century Fox, and Gary Sinise Foundation.

After the screening, join us for an after party for more fun and entertainment.

FRIDAY, MAY 27

The Angelika Film Center at Mosaic

Bringing your project to the screen — big and small — takes more than creativity, talent and persistence. It also requires you make the right business decisions at the right moments. Join GI Film Festival DC, and its roster of entertainment industry experts, for the GIFF’s popular Filmmaker Boot Camp, where you’ll learn the critical business skills you need to succeed in film and television.

Perhaps no war in modern history evokes the range of emotions of the Vietnam War. But even in the midst of brutality in the jungles of Vietnam and bitter controversy back home, we catch glimpses of the human spirit. In Escape from Firebase Kate and Return to Dak To, soldiers recall memories of the Vietnam War experience, not only characterized by fighting and bloodshed but also peppered with experiences of joyful camaraderie and adrenaline-pumping excitement.

War is hell and no one knows this like those on the front lines of battle. Remember Fort Pillow, Cease Fire, The Year of the Tiger, Winged Warriors, and The Letter explore this hellish reality. They also explore the ironies that arise from war: sacrifice many for a few; let your captor live or die when you have the upper hand; or rely on the enemy to set you free.

Chaplain Justin David Roberts served 6 years active duty as an Army Chaplain. Before he left the Army in 2015, he found that beneath the collar of ministry he was struggling with depression and PTSD. Wondering what kind of father he would be if he didn’t face his issues, he set out on a journey to meet up with members of his old unit.  

This heroic action-thriller is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In 1952, a massive winter storm strikes off the coast of Cape Cod, ripping a T-2 oil tanker in half and trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly sinking stern. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard, four men led by Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) set out in a 12-seat boat on a daring mission to rescue the stranded men.

Comedy? Check. Action? Check. Zombie Apocalypse? Uh-huh. William Shatner? HELL YEAH! For a hysterical time and for some major zombie action, join GIFFX on Friday, May 27 to see the much-anticipated World Premiere of the release of the military zombie film, Range 15.  After the world premiere, join us for a post party celebration. Get your movie party ticket to enjoy the revelries with complimentary food and drinks.

SATURDAY, MAY 28

The Angelika Film Center at Mosaic

No one knows the struggle of losing loved ones, missing loved ones, and taking care of loved ones damaged emotionally or physically by war like the families of military personnel. Grief Sleeps, A Soldier’s Story: Major Stephen Reich, Goodman’s Salute, Cold Winter’s Night, Promise Me, Lost in Time, and Frogman each explore the aftermath of war not from the perspective of service-members, but rather from the perspectives of their family members. 

Indianapolis: 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 to  rescue American air crew, and ultimately a devastating torpedo attack that killed three fourths of the crew. The survivors recall the 5 days they spent floating alone in the Pacific Ocean, their miraculous rescue, and how they fought together to clear their captain’s name.

GI Film Festival weaves together four powerful stories of people from different walks of life: a Hiroshima bomb survivor; two comrades united by war and carnage; two strangers united by bone marrow; and a veteran outlasting both the war and the average human life span . Although they all have different stories to tell about their experiences, a common thread of struggle unites them all. Films: The Captain – A Bond of Brotherhood, Mr. Overton, Paper Lanterns, Her Unlikely Kin.

At the time of filming, Peter Ertel is 95 years old. He is a published author and an avid pianist. Using his skill as a riveting storyteller, Ertel recounts his experiences as a soldier in the German army – from his early days as an “unsoldierlike” recruit who was deemed an “unreliable follower of the Fuhrer” to his becoming a highly respected platoon leader, who routinely risked his life to save the lives of his men. Though Peter takes us through the hell of front-line combat in both France and Russia, perhaps the most ‘unimaginable’ part of his journey begins after he becomes a prisoner of war.

Going to war isn’t all guts and glory.  Returning to civilian life after war isn’t either.  Readjusting to life after war can sometimes be just as traumatic as war itself with the bigger enemy being within.  Living For The Ones Who Can’t, Operation Allie, The Last Time I Heard True Silence, Almost Home, First Person Shooter, Return to Iwo Jima, We Men Are Lions, and Letters: A Heroe’s Journey to the Medal of Honor will allow you to explore the hardships soldiers face transitioning back into civilian life – the mental and the physical suffering that it places upon the soldier and the family and how they can overcome those challenges.

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 have resulted. Director Tom Donahue interweaves the stories of four Iraq War veterans with candid interviews of top military and civilian leaders. Observing the systemic neglect, the film argues for significant internal change and offers a roadmap of hope. 

Journey to the outer reaches of the heavens to a place beyond the stars and discover a parallel universe in which mankind seeks to cultivate an understanding of what is difficult to be understood. Uncanny Valley, Outpost, The Art of Human Salvage, Jupiter and Mercury, Devil’s Work, The Christmas You Don’t Know, Glasses Forgot, Scarlet, and I Did Not Forget You will take you from the outer space to the infinite dimensions of reality. 

Beyond Glory is adapted from Larry Smith’s stirring book and presents the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, rendering first-hand accounts of valor which resulted in the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. As a tribute to fallen soldiers, Stephen Lang performed the show on military bases, and gave a command performance on the floor of Congress. Lang is most familiar to audiences as Colonel Quaritch in Avatar.

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Comedy? We got that. Drama? We got that. Music? We got that too. The only thing that’s missing is YOU. Feel like VIP as you enter dressed to impress at our red carpet award ceremony. Stay for drinks, free food, and entertainment from guitarist Dani Figeroua followed by the screening of The Fog, The Long Way Back, Stand, and Naptown Funk. This exclusive event is sponsored by Hardwire LLC, American Heroes Channel and Geico Military.

SUNDAY, MAY 29

The Angelika Film Center at Mosaic

Tango on the Balcony, Embedded, Adventurmentalism, TenderHealing Soul Wounds, and Steel Leaves takes you deep into the minds of soldiers who live with the consequences of war every single day and for the rest of their lives. See firsthand the pain combat experiencence as they strive to put their lives back together and the incredible resilience they demonstrate in overcoming the devastating effects of war, and, at times, their own actions.

Who would have thought that two men from two opposing cultures – America and Vietnam – would come together despite the odds to take down a bigger enemy – Communism. Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory and Betrayal will have you questioning who is a friend and who is an enemy in this real life tale of two friends on opposite sides of the fences. Feel the sadness, the struggle, the betrayal and even the camaraderie as two unlikely friends unite ironically on the battlefield.

War has plenty of named heroes. It also has many unsung heroes who have gone to their graves – gone but not forgotten. Forced Landing and Known Unto God are documentaries paying homage to those who endured the pain of war and paved the way freedom but are not celebrated with conventional militaristic honors.

Rising Fear is an indie action thriller boiling with twists, turns, and a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy the US government–and freedom itself. Buckle in as writer & director Tom Getty takes you on a roller coaster ride that starts with a bang and doesn’t let up until its explosive finale.

Man down but not down and out is the best way to describe Jeremiah, Darryl, and Tourist. These films will take you through the pain of war but will show you the light at the end of the tunnel. These characters brave the storm, live to tell about tribulations of war and go on to do even greater things.

War isn’t always all bloodshed and missile strikes. Sometimes it is simply survival, hope and memoirs of days gone by. We Answered The Call, To Those Who Serve, Mister Morvillo, and Heroes on Deck: WW II on Lake Michigan will allow you to observe the mundaneness of military life which may not be all action but still is part of the greater mission.

For the ultimate Hollywood experience, movie-goers will walk down the red carpet to attend a special DVD release screening for the Michael Bay-directed film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, starring John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, Dominic Fumusa, James Badge Dale and David Denman.

Special guests include Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, Orange Is the New Black, The Brink, Weeds), Dominic Fumusa (13 Hours, Nurse Jackie, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and the real-life Benghazi warriors depicted in the film: Kris “Tanto” Paronto, John “Tig” Tiegen and Mark “Oz” Geist.

GIFF15 Photo Gallery

GIFF15 PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

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