‘GI Film Festival’ Opens Tonight and Runs Through May 25th at the Old Town Theater

The GI Film Festival (GIFF)-nicknamed ‘Sundance for the Troops’-is back in the DC area for the eighth year. GIFF showcases the military’s stories authentically through film while featuring receptions, panels, celebrities like Gary Sinise, filmmakers, veterans, military members like Army Chief of Staff General Odierno, lawmakers, and government officials like wounded veteran Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.


GIFF is led by the wife and husband team respectively, West Point graduate and Army veteran Laura Law-Millett and public relations executive Brandon Millett.

GIFF’s mission is to “to honor the successes and sacrifices of the American men and women in uniform and the world wide struggle for freedom and democracy, to preserve the stories of the American Veterans, and to train and educate veterans about the entertainment industry.”

This year the GI Film Festival is being held mainly in Old Town Alexandria at the Old Town Theater.

Tonight-May 19th is the kick off for the GI Film Festival with actor David Arquette. He is starring in GIFF’s World Premiere Civil War movie Field of Lost Shoes. While the movie is sold out, the after party still has tickets available at the door. The after party is sponsored by Paramount Studios and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit with music by DJ Neekola! The after party is at 9:00 p.m. at the Torpedo Factory-105 North Union Street in Alexandria, VA.

On May 20th at 5:30 p.m. is the Congressional Reception and Special Event with guests Senator Joe Manchion, Representative Chris Gibson, Representative Tammy Duckworth, and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General John Campbell. The movie shown is T he Civilian-Military Divide.The movie explore the misunderstanding American civilians have about today’s military and how it threatens our national defense.

On May 21st at 6:30 p.m. it’s ‘International and Warrior Night.’ International filmmakers from the U.K. Canada, France, Thailand, U.S., Austria, and Thailand made the films. Films featured are: Last Call, Menschen, Sister in Arms, Relentless, Détente, The Hole, The Wound, and Civvy Street. Civvy Street explores a veteran making the hard transition to civilian world in the U.K. made by British military veteran and now filmmaker Peter Carruthers. Carruthers had another movie show at the GI Film Festival last year.

All films are shown at The Canadian Embassy-501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in Washington DC.

On May 22d at 6:30 p.m. is the ‘Special Feature and Primetime Event’ with Wounded Warriors with the Advanced Screening of When the Game Stands Tall. This is the unbelievable story of football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who led De La Salle High School to shatter all American sport records. Ticket are free for wounded warriors, but they must RSVP with the GI Film Festival. The film is shown at Cinemark Fairfax-11900 Palace Way, in Fairfax, VA. The phone number is (703) 378-6550. There is a reception afterwards at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

On May 23rd, from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is ‘Filmmaker Bootcamp’ for those interested learning about the filmmaking industry and how to make your way without the backing of the big 6 film studio companies. It takes place at Old Town Theater -815 1/2 King Street, in Alexandria, VA.

On May 23rd at 6:45 p.m. there’s  the ‘Short Block: Salute to Hollywood Patriot’ with special guest Gary Sinise and Chief of Staff of the Army Ray Ordierno. The first movie shown is The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War, about  Hollywood legends like Ronald Reagan and James Stewart going off to war. The second movie-Travis: A Soldier’s Storytakes the viewers through the story of Travis Mill, a quadruple amputee and his journey to recovery. It takes place at Old Town Theater -815 1/2 King Street, in Alexandria, VA.

The May 24th film block starts at 9:45 a.m. with the final block at 6:30 p.m. The last block features HBO’s “Girls” actor Adam Driver who is a marine veteran. GIFF will screen short films about WWII and Korea. It takes place at Old Town Theater -815 1/2 King Street, in Alexandria, VA.

The best films award winners of the festival, will follow. There will also be a special tribute to NBC Universal’s film Lone SurvivorThe after-party is at the United States Patent and Trade Office-600 Dulany Street, in Alexandria, VA..

The May 25th film block starts at 10:00 a.m. with the final showing at 6:30 p.m. Movies range from topics about PTSD to the final block saluting women in the military. It takes place at Old Town Theater -815 1/2 King Street, in Alexandria, VA.

For more information and tickets go to the GI Film Festival’s website. Here is this year’s schedule.


The GI Film Festival is being held from May 19-25, 2014 at Old Town Theater -815 1/2 King Street, in Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314. The phone number is (703)-884-1040.

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Marlene Hall
Marlene Hall grew up an army brat and has lived all over the world and in Washington, DC where she was constantly exposed to theater and music. Marlene graduated from the University of Virginia where she wrote for the Cavalier Daily interviewing musicians. Commissioned as an Air Force officer, she served 8 years. She now works as a realtor with eXp Realty. In addition, Marlene dabbles in improvisational comedy and has taken classes at the famed iO Theater in Chicago and the DC Improv. She is very active in the DC charity and social scene and contributes her time to veterans’ organizations Team Rubicon and Team Red, White, and Blue. She also was a supernumerary in the Washington National Opera’s Carmen with opera singer Denyce Graves. She loves the music and theater scene in DC and goes to as many concerts and shows as possible.


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