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Making its West Coast premiere on May 19 is “HERE. IS. BETTER,” which profiles veterans as they journey through managing post-traumatic stress. Courtesy photo
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GI Film Festival San Diego is back

Military film festival begins May 17

The annual GI Film Festival San Diego returns to the big screen starting May 17. Held at the Museum of Photographic Arts, the GI Film Festival San Diego is the only military-themed film festival produced and organized in San Diego — home to one of the nation’s largest populations of military and veterans.

Festival organizers are packing the event with exceptional films, meaningful dialogue, and special events for, by and about military and veterans.  The lineup brings to life the complex, beautiful stories of service members and their families. Every film challenges the notions about what it means to serve, going beyond one-dimensional depictions of veterans, service members, caregivers and families; and provides a platform for service members-turned-filmmakers to showcase their creative stories on the big screen.

First-Person Stories of Service

Thursday, May 19 features films that highlight the individual experiences of service members in Vietnam and post 9/11 conflicts.  Starting at 5:00 p.m. is the West Coast premiere of “Walk With Frank.” The 79-minute film documents a former Vietnam infantry soldier as he celebrates his 70th birthday by walking across the state of New York with a message of hope and healing for those struggling with post-traumatic stress.

“Walk With Frank” premieres May 19. The film documents a former Vietnam infantry soldier as he celebrates his 70th birthday by walking across the state of New York with a message of hope. Courtesy photo

Also making its West Coast premiere is “HERE. IS. BETTER.” Screening at 7:15 p.m. on May 19, the film profiles veterans as they journey through managing post-traumatic stress. Veterans featured in the film include former presidential hopeful Jason Kander, who shocked many when he left the Kansas City mayoral race in 2018 to seek treatment; a Vietnam War veteran still haunted by events that occurred over 50 years ago; and the voices of so often overlooked female veterans, all seeking the keys to unlock their places of hurt and pain.

In addition to these documentaries, this year’s five-day event will feature dramas, comedies, feature-lengths, shorts and a psychological thriller. Attendees can also enjoy captivating post-screening discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, actors and subject-matter experts. The festival culminates with the festival’s Awards Celebration, on Saturday, May 21 with Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian, musician, radio broadcaster, military veteran and advocate Thom Tran as the event host.

The box office is now open at GIFilmFestivalSD.org. Buy your tickets now and enjoy an unforgettable experience at a film festival like no other.

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