A group of sailors enjoys a screening of "X-Men: Apocalypse" during Wounded Warrior Appreciation Night at the 2016 GI Film Festival. Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan/GI Film Festival

GI Film Festival celebrates 11th year

The GI Film Festival (GIFF) – “where passionate filmmakers, our veterans and those who support them can gather for a few magical days to educate, heal and preserve the legacies of our veterans,” according to its website – will celebrate its 11th year May 24-28 in Washington, D.C.

Three theaters around the city will screen selections by independent filmmakers, a number of whom are veterans themselves. The selections are for, by and about veterans and their families. Prizes will be awarded in the categories of feature, documentary, short film, student film and best international film.

In addition to the screenings, special events are expected such as a congressional reception; Warriors Appreciation Night, which invites active-duty military, wounded warriors and their families to a preview screening of a major summer release; a variety show; and – new this year – PitchFest, where 20 aspiring filmmakers will have two minutes each to pitch film ideas and TV projects to a panel of expert judges, for both recognition and a prize package.

More information on the films, as well as how to get tickets, is available at www.gifilmfestival.com. The American Legion is a Silver Sponsor of GIFF; the festival received the National Commander’s PR Award in 2010. A special 20-percent-off code has been made available to Legion staff, friends and family: AmerLx2017. The code can be used an unlimited number of times for tickets and passes online.