Arlington, VA — The GI Film Festival is pleased to announce that acclaimed actor William Devane will receive the festival’s coveted GI Choice Award during the 2011 event, to be held May 9-15 in Washington, DC. The GI Choice Award is presented to an entertainer who positively portrays a GI character in film.
The awards presentation will take place during the festival’s Salute to Hollywood Patriots on Friday night, May 13th at the Arleigh & Roberta Burke Theater inside the U.S. Navy Memorial. This event also features the DC premiere of the feature film Flag of My Father, which stars William Devane, John Schneider, and GiGi Erneta.
“William Devane is an incredibly gifted actor and a deserving recipient of the festival’s GI Choice Award. He has used his talents to play number of classic military figures throughout his distinguished career, including his portrayal of a Vietnam Veteran in Flag of My Father,” said GI Film Festival President Brandon Millett.
Perhaps best known for his portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in The Missiles of October, for which he received an Emmy nomination, and his decade-long leading role on the show Knots Landing, Devane has also portrayed a number of military characters in film, including Master Sergeant Milt Warden in the television version of From Here to Eternity and Major Charles Rane in the feature film Rolling Thunder, among others. In Flag of my Father, Devane portrays Vietnam Veteran Jake Rainer.
Flag of My Father is one of 31 film premieres celebrating our country’s servicemen and women to be screened by GIFF in 2011. Film topics featured during the festival include the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, the War in Afghanistan, World War II, Vietnam, and issues facing military families and returning GIs. The festival will also host an international block of films from Denmark, Holland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada at the Canadian Embassy and will debut a revolutionary interactive film technology that allows the audience to participate in how the movie plot unfolds.
The week-long festival, held during Armed Forces Appreciation Month, will bring Hollywood and the military together to create a venue for artists to tell the story of the American soldier, both past and present. The festival will also include seminars and nightly events, including a “launch party,” Congressional reception, Wounded Warrior Appreciation Night, A Salute to Hollywood Patriots, a Hollywood premier screening, a “Best of the GI Film Festival” awards ceremony, and a Filmmaker Boot Camp hosted by GI Film Festival Chairman and award-winning filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon.
For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit www.gifilmfestival.com.
About William Devane:
William Devane is an Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor from Albany, NY. He began his career on stage where he originated the role of Randall McMurphy in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a role made famous by Jack Nicholson later. He captivated audiences for over ten years as the villainous Greg Sumner on the hit drama Knot’s Landing. After Knots he returned to primetime television in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The West Wing, 24, and Stargate SG-1. Devane’s big screen credits include: Payback opposite Mel Gibson and Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones, and Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon. “Bill’ is also a decorated polo player and owner of a chain of Italian restaurants aptly named Devane’s.
About the GI Film Festival:
The GI Film Festival, a 501(c)3 non-profit public education foundation, is the first and only film festival in the nation dedicated to the American Armed Forces. Co-founded by Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett, the festival’s mission is to honor the successes and sacrifices of American GIs through the medium of film.
About Flag of My Father:
Flag of my Father is the story of Army nurse Judith Rainer, who follows her Vietnam veteran father, Jake, into service. Years have passed, but nightmares of Iraq’s brutal, desert warfare and fallen brothers still haunt her. She endures mental and physical scars as a result….some of which are irreversible.
Judith and Jake’s similar experiences with warfare, camaraderie and unwavering patriotism has created a deeper and more loving relationship than father and daughter…they are soldiers who understand the importance of duty and sacrifice. Unable to share this special bond, her civilian older brothers ridicule her service and envy Jake’s relationship with Judith….a conflict that intensifies after Jake’s tragic death. As a tradition, the oldest brother, Ben, is bequeathed the burial flag and a struggle begins within the siblings who all covet Jake’s military memorabilia.
In the process, the brothers uncover a startling family secret that challenges their ideals. Judith must utilize her faith to fight two new battles–that of her family’s harmony and restoration as well as conquering her own demons. In the meantime, Ben struggles to find the courage to combat his own selfishness and lead his brothers on a path to humility.