2017 GIFF Awards Ceremony

“Start to finish this was the strongest film line-up we’ve featured in our eleven years. The jury scoring was extremely tight in every single category,” noted GI Film Festival Chairman and Co-Founder Brandon Millett. “We are so proud of all of our filmmakers. The audiences loved each and every one of these films. And we thank our filmmakers from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the honor of screening their creative work.”

In terms of jury selection, the festival assembles a three-judge panel for documentaries and a separate three-judge panel for narratives. Films are scored 1-5 in areas such as production value, story, directing, writing and how well the film reflects the mission of the festival. Scores are then averaged to determine the winners in each category. Jury members include top producers, writers, actors, directors and military service-members.

In addition to the film awards, the festival also acknowledged actor Tom Berenger with its GI Choice Award, which is presented to an actor for excellence in portraying iconic military characters in film; actor/comedian Jamie Kaler with its Veterans in Entertainment Award,

which is presented to a military veteran for excellence in entertainment; and Gen. Ed Rowny with its GI Hero Award, which is presented to a military veteran to acknowledge the real-life military heroes who inspire the creative community.

Overall, the 2017 GI Film Festival boasted a dynamic lineup of 50+ films, interactive Q&As with filmmakers and on-screen talent, an embassy soiree, live music, stand-up comedy, star-studded red carpets, and awards ceremonies, all honoring and lending a voice to the veteran community.

The festival concluded on Sunday night, May 28th with its “Best of Festival” awards show, which also included an exclusive “sneak-peek” at the highly anticipated, 18-hour documentary series THE VIETNAM WAR directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Hailed by Bloomberg News as “Sundance for the Troops,” the GI Film Festival’s mission is to preserve the stories of military veterans through film, television and dynamic live special events. 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 Bravest and the Boldest

Directed by Moon Molson

Audience Choice Award

The Bravest, the Boldest - Poster

Ten Thousand Miles

Written by Nathan Ellis, U.S. Army

Best Military Filmmaker

Ten Thousand Miles Poster

American Veteran

Directed by Julie Cohen

Founder’s Choice 1

American Veteran - Poster

The 2 Sides Project

Directed by Anthony Istrico

Founder’s Choice 2

2 Sides Project

High Low Forty

Directed by Paddy Quinn

Best Narrative Feature

High Low Forty - Poster

Operation Route 66

Directed by Kurt Gerber

Best Documentary Feature

Operation Route 66 - Poster

The Colonel

Directed by Tim Williams

Best Narrative Short

The Colonel - Poster

Always Do A Little More

Directed by Kip Perry

Best Documentary Short

Gary Sinise: Always Do a Little More - Poster

The Blue Eye: Akrotiri

Directed by Annie Spiczak

Best Screenplay

Annie Spiczak | Screenwriter


Directed by Yi Tao

Best Student Film

Reunion - Poster


Directed by Durval Pereira

Best International Film

Switchblade - Poster

After Fire

Directed by Brittany Huckabee

Best Strong Female Lead

After Fire - Poster

All American

Directed by Michael Ayjian and Stephen Skeel

Best Short Short

All American - Poster

The Colonel

Directed by Tim Williams

Best Best Film Trailer

The Colonel - Poster