GIFF ARTICLE

By Alex Gilfiley

To many, like the air we breathe, see our American Freedom as an entitlement and our reward for simply having access to these life’s assets in the US of A. But, is that what it’s all about? A former Navy Seal and a Wounded Warrior, Jason Redman, clearly attests to this reality and perspective: “Freedom, like air, is very readily missed when suddenly it’s taken away.”

The US Veterans’ Community is a large community of brotherhood and sisterhood that when a veteran meets a total stranger, who happens to be another veteran, an instant comfort of an unshakable bond is inevitable. Like much of any industry, the veteran community has a myriad of experience and knowledge readily available to be shared with the corporate world, business endeavors, and the local communities around the country. Sadly, many of these experiences are sometimes forgotten at many veterans’ cemeteries around the country that unfortunately, could not be shared.

That’s why that at the GI Film Festival (GIFF), many veterans in the film industry and those that are not even in the industry but have stories to tell, collaborate and tell these important stories that the generations to come will forever have access to. This platform and many others that are emerging, with this new generation of veterans and veteran supporting partners and organizations, are committed to implementing this portal of digital storytelling means between veterans and civilians.

It is indeed that this GIFF platform has not only created a great place to share stories and network with other veterans while meeting new people but since its inception, many meaningful and lifetime relationship has come to fruition. Likewise, many collaborative efforts in producing marvelous film projects and the likes have also been a fundamental result of this manifesto, year in and year out. Nevertheless, amongst the countless in attendance each year, are individuals who aspire to become filmmakers themselves and have the drive to pursue a career in the entertainment industry; veterans and civilians alike.

When attending GIFF, one must prepare itself for a magical ride in witnessing real-life stories that sometimes fall through the cracks. “Eye opening” would be an understatement to the superb experience of viewing some of the untold stories of the military life as on and off active duty.

Furthermore, should one ascertain as to who is invited to this enchanted film festival, wonder no more. The event is open to anyone, and as the GIFF Digital Content Producer, CEO of Fulton Film Company, George Ohan, puts it, “Film lovers and independent filmmakers should attend film festivals to meet like-minded people who love movies.” But even if you do not love movies, you are still welcome to come and show your support—but we do have to warn you—it is almost unequivocal that you would fall in love with the art upon arrival.

As an Army Veteran myself, I am looking forward to witnessing my first year of GIFF. Working on a few projects in front and behind the camera–these projects have introduced me to the heart of the GI Film Festival. That is to encourage and promote the telling of stories and legacies of American Heroes and Defenders of our Freedom, as it facilitates healing of individuals with wounds may be seen and most especially the ones that are unseen.

It is my highest honor to rub shoulders with my brothers and sister as well as anyone I may have the pleasure of meeting this year. As an attendee, I look forward to the upcoming festival. I am hopeful that in doing so, I may be able to meet like-minded individuals to collaborate with, to respectfully share my real combat story in saving the lives of 16 fallen comrades in a helicopter crash in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003. (For the full story, please refer to our online resources at www.gilfiley.com or simply look for Alex Gilfiley on LinkedIn or @alexgilfiley on Twitter, IG, and FB)

Original Questions You Asked Me:

Why is a platform like the GI Film Festival needed for the military veteran community?

To many, like the air we breathe, see our American Freedom as an entitlement and our reward for simply having access to these life’s assets in the US of A. But, is that what it’s all about? A former Navy Seal and a Wounded Warrior, Jason Redman, clearly attests to this reality and perspective: “Freedom, like air, is very readily missed when suddenly it’s taken away.”

The US Veterans’ Community is a large community of brotherhood and sisterhood that when a veteran meets a total stranger, who happens to be another veteran, an instant comfort of an unshakable bond is inevitable. Like much of any industry, the veteran community has a myriad of experience and knowledge readily available to be shared with the corporate world, business endeavors, and the local communities around the country. Sadly, many of these experiences are sometimes forgotten at many veterans’ cemeteries around the country that unfortunately, could not be shared.

That’s why that at the GI Film Festival (GIFF), many veterans in the film industry and those that are not even in the industry but have stories to tell, collaborate and tell these important stories that the generations to come will forever have access to. This platform and many others that are emerging, with this new generation of veterans and veteran supporting partners and organizations, are committed to implementing this portal of digital storytelling means between veterans and civilians.

Proper information about military to the civilian community

2. Who can benefit from a networking opportunity like GIFF?

It is indeed that this GIFF platform has not only created a great place to share stories and network with other veterans while meeting new people but since its inception, many meaningful and lifetime relationship has come to fruition. Likewise, many collaborative efforts in producing marvelous film projects and the likes have also been a fundamental result of this manifesto, year in and year out. Nevertheless, amongst the countless in attendance each year, are individuals who aspire to become filmmakers themselves and have the drive to pursue a career in the entertainment industry; veterans and civilians alike.

Anyone who wishes to work in entertainment business

3. What kind of projects are screened at GIFF.

When attending GIFF, one must prepare itself for a magical ride in witnessing real-life stories that sometimes fall through the cracks. “Eye opening” would be an understatement to the superb experience of viewing some of the untold stories of the military life as on and off active duty.

REAL stories

4. Who should attend GIFF? Film students, veterans, and people who enjoy military stories.

Furthermore, should one ascertain as to who is invited to this enchanted film festival, wonder no more. The event is open to anyone, and as the GIFF Digital Content Producer, CEO of Fulton Film Company, George Ohan, puts it, “Film lovers and independent filmmakers should attend film festivals to meet like-minded people who love movies.” But even if you do not love movies, you are still welcome to come and show your support—but we do have to warn you—it is almost unequivocal that you would fall in love with the art upon arrival.

5. Who am I? This is how I would like to connect with GI Film Festival filmmakers. Your links to personal work how can people connect with you

As an Army Veteran myself, I am looking forward to witnessing my first year of GIFF. Working on a few projects in front and behind the camera, that consist of the same heart, which is to promote the telling of stories of American Heroes and Defenders of our Freedom, it is my highest honor to rub shoulders with my brothers and sister as well as anyone I may have the pleasure of meeting this year. As an attendee for this year’s festival, I look forward to the upcoming years, where I may be able to also share of my real combat story in saving the lives of 16 fallen comrades in a helicopter crash in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003.

Alex GilfileyFor the full story:

Please refer to our online resources at Gilfiley.com or simply follow @alexgilfiley on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

More: Wounded Warrior Americans Don’t Appreciate Their Freedom