Lou Diamond Phillips to be Honored with GI Spirit Award

Award-Winning Actor Lou Diamond Phillips to Receive GI Film Festival’s GI Spirit Award

Son of a Navy Veteran to be Honored during Festival’s “Salute to Hollywood Patriots,” Friday Night, May 13, 2011


Arlington, VA — The GI Film Festival, the nation’s only military film festival, is pleased to announce that award-winning actor Lou Diamond Phillips will receive the festival’s GI Spirit Award during the “Salute to Hollywood Patriots” event to be held Friday night, May 13, 2011 at the Arleigh & Roberta Burke Theater inside the U.S. Navy Memorial. The GI Spirit Award is presented to an actor who embodies the spirit of an American GI in their creative and philanthropic work.  Past recipients include actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, Karri Turner and Rick Schroder.

Phillips, the son of a Navy officer and star of the Desert Storm era war movie Courage Under Fire, continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to our men and women in uniform, whether he is visiting with wounded warriors, spreading Christmas cheer at the VA hospital in Los Angeles, filming PSA’s for USO initiatives, or hosting events like the Fourth of July Freedom Concert at The Stadium of Fire.  Additionally, Phillips has taken his commitment to Capitol Hill by testifying before the U.S. Congress in support of the Filipino Veterans of WWII.

“We are especially honored to present the GI Spirit Award to Lou Diamond Phillips, who is not only a great friend of the American veteran but also part of the military family,” said GI Film Festival co-founder Brandon Millett.  “Mr. Phillips is a special person and this is going to be a special night.”

“It is an honor to be recognized by the GI Film Festival with their GI Spirit Award.  However, the bigger honor for me is shining a light on the valiant stories of America’s heroes – the men and women serving in uniform.  I have great respect for their sacrifice and commitment to preserving the freedoms Americans enjoy every day,” said Lou Diamond Phillips.

Phillips currently serves as host of An Officer and a Movie, a brand new television series on Military Channel, which pairs Phillips with retired and active duty officers who lived through major battles or have an expertise in the conflicts depicted in notable Hollywood films.  As each film makes its Military Channel premiere, An Officer and a Movie provides expert commentary from the GIs who have been “on the ground” during the action as these officers reflect on the themes of that night’s film and also provide personal insight that puts each movie into a modern context.  An Officer and a Movie premieres weekly on Fridays and Saturday nights from 8-10 PM ET on Military Channel, Discovery Communications’ network dedicated to honoring the Armed Forces from past to present.


With respect to Phillips’ acting career, he first came to the public’s attention when he starred as Richie Valens in La Bamba. He solidified his reputation in Stand and Deliver, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and received a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination. Other notable film credits include Courage Under Fire, Young Guns and most recently, CHE. Additionally, Phillips earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor for his performance as the King of Siam in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Currently in its final season, Phillips can be seen on the SyFy series Stargate: Universe. A few of his other memorable television credits include Chuck, Psych, Law and Order: SVU, and Numb3rs. As a director, Phillips most recently helmed the Hallmark Channel movie Love Takes Wing in 2009.

In addition to honoring Lou Diamond Phillips during the “Salute to Hollywood Patriots,” the festival will also present acclaimed actor William Devane the GI Choice Award for his portrayal of military characters in film.


The GI Film Festival’s “Salute to Hollywood Patriots” is just one of dozens of events taking place during the week-long event.  Overall, the festival will feature 31 film premieres celebrating our country’s servicemen and women. 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 GI Film Festival will also include seminars and nightly events, including a “launch party,” Congressional reception, Wounded Warrior Appreciation Night, the DC premiere of the feature film Ironclad, 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 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.

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