GI Film Festival San Diego sets full schedule, adds films

Organizers of the GI Film Festival San Diego, presented by Sullivan Solar Power, have finalized the full 2016 schedule for the screenings, receptions, and related events. To be held Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, the festival features 28 films for, about, and by service men and women and brings the stories of America's military to life through film.

Film screenings and related events will be presented at various locations throughout San Diego County. The films come from around the United States as well as here in San Diego and range from feature length films to shorts, which gives the audience an opportunity to view a variety of stories in a short amount of time. They are presented within themed blocks so audience members can fully immerse themselves in the festival experience.

In 2016, several of the films focus on less known true stories that will satisfy just about any film aficionado's appetite for a good story. Storylines include American POWs in Switzerland and Hiroshima, secret recordings by President John F. Kennedy, a young man forced to be in the German Army in WWII and ends up working for the United States, and the sneak preview of the full-length Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky III's documentary about an American minister and his wife who travel abroad to save victims of the Holocaust.

Another theme explored in this year's festival is moral injury, which is the result of the participation in traumatic experiences that violate ones moral and ethical values, causing a shift in identity and self-expectations. "Thank You For Your Service," directed by award-winning filmmaker Tom Donohue, is a film that examines how mental health advocates team up with soldiers to bring awareness to their struggles in a social and political way.

Throughout the five-day festival, attendees will be able to vote for their favorite films to receive the "Audience Choice Award" at the Closing Celebration and Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mission Valley at Hazard Center. Many of the events will be open to the public with special discounted opportunities for active duty military personnel and veterans. All Access Passes for entry into festival events and screenings are available now for $85 each on the GI Film Festival San Diego website at www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org. General admission tickets are now available online.

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