Coming in September is a film festival dedicated to the United States Military with the GI Film Festival San Diego showcasing from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18.

This year the festival includes documentaries, narratives, shorts and feature length production. Also, there is a Local Film Showcase that features San Diego filmmakers along with San Diego locations and actors.

Beginning Sept. 14, the opening night of the festival includes the West Coast Premier of the film “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy.” This documentary took many, many years to bring together the story of this ship and after surviving attacks and secret missions; their ship would be destroyed by a torpedo attack leaving men floating in the ocean for over five days.

Now, survivors tell their own story through photographs and footage that will bring this amazing story of life to the screen. Along with an original score, director Sara Vladic brings this untold story to us all.

The next evening, Sept.15, follows with the three films: “The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel” tells the story of a man who was a German soldier during a war against the Jews. “Almost Sunrise” is a story of two friends who walk across America to deal with the combat experiences that won’t leave them. The film is a journey of hope and possibilities. Finally, “Remembering Vietnam” is a collection of perspectives during this war with “Escape from Firebase Kate,” “Tom’s War” and “Return to Dak To.”

On Friday, Sept. 16, the GI Film Festival Festival brings Family Movie Night Featuring the animated film “Storks” with three showings available for kids and kids at heart. Saturday, Sept. 17, brings a full schedule beginning with “WWII POW Stories” and two pieces with “Forced Landing” telling the story of World War II veterans who were held at camp Wauwilermoos in Switzerland. Also, “Paper Lanterns” which is a documentary about the morning in 1945 as two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and the memories of those, including American POW’s, that survived.

Sept. 17 brings three films about Navy heroes with “Frogman” and the story of working in secret during Vietnam, “Farewell to Connie” as the USS Constellation spent 41 years in service from San Diego Bay and “Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan” telling the story of the pilots training program in Chicago during World War II.

“How We Heal” puts the spotlight on those affected by war with “Tourist” as a veteran returns to Vietnam after 45 years to deal with the pain of war, “Living for the Ones Who Can’t” tells the story of two Rangers in Iraq, and “The Last Time I Heard True Silence” as a soldier tries to find his place in civilian life after returning from Iraq.

Also playing is “Operation Allie” as a Marine and his dog become a transformational story that needs to be seen and “Adventurmentalism,” a documentary about mental health in combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Facing Crisis tells two different stories about foreign policy as The Year of the Tiger – JFK 1962 talks about the Cuban Missle Crisis and American Umpire opens up the conversation about foreign policy around the world.

“Defying the Nazi’s: The Sharps’ War” partially narrated by Tom Hanks tells the story of a family on a mission to help save Jews and refugees in Europe trying to escape Nazis and “Thank You For Your Service” that follows four Iraq War vets dealing with the lack of treatment for their medical needs.

Finally on Sept. 18, the GI Film Festival wraps up its fantastic program with Local Film Showcase including “Honoring Flight: The Ride of a Lifetime” that follows 42 WWII and Korean War Veterans who travel to visit memorials in Washington D.C and “The Flying Greek” which is the story of Steve Pisanos becoming a fighter ace in World War II.

Also included in the showcase is “Living History: Our Hometown Hero” that tells of the career of native San Diegan Ret. Commander Robert Noble, “The Light Once Captured” about a camera that has seen war, and finally “A Return to the End” is a documentary about a group of U.S. Marines who return to Vietnam having evacuated after the fall of Saigon.

KPBS and So Say We All will be screening “Permission to Speak Freely: KPBS’ Veterans Coming Home Project.” There will be a discussion with actors and writers from the local veteran community. This promises to be a most informative presentation.

The final evening also brings a second showing of the “USS Indianapolis” along with the Military Pitch Fest and Mixer with the program showing “American Girl” and “Love is No News.”

To celebrate the GI Film Festival and the amazing programming, there will be the Closing Celebration and Awards Ceremony recognizing the Local Film Showcase and an Audience Choice Award is to be given out.

Now, knowing everything the GI Film Festival San Diego has to offer I know you are interested in finding out how you can be a part of it all. To get your tickets now before they sell out, please visit

With screening prices at $10 per ticket, there are also discounts available for active military and veterans using the promo codes Military or Veteran. All Access Passes are $85 which includes admission to all screenings and events including the closing celebration and award ceremony.

Meet me there as we experience some of the most interest ring and informative films, narratives, shorts and documentaries that the GI Film Festival San Diego has to offer. For even more detail please visit



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.