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GI Film Festival Closes with Military Documentaries Today

Kicking off the final day of film screenings will be the World Premiere of the documentary feature “Nation’s Promise” and more.

GI Film Festival Closes with Military Documentaries Today

Today, May 21st, the GI Film Festival San Diego closes the multi-day military event with documentaries that explore many themes and leave festival-goers wanting more. Kicking off the final day of film screenings will be the World Premiere of the documentary feature "Nation's Promise" at 12 noon, and preceded by "Blind Ambition: The Wop May Story." A Documentary Block will follow at 2:15 p.m. with three documentary shorts that explore resiliency, healing and forgiveness, including "Veterans Journey Home: On Black Mountain," "Down on the Ranch," and "The Monument of Tolerance."

Closing out the GI Film Festival San Diego will be the documentary feature "Into Flight Once More," which is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, and preceded by the World Premiere of the documentary short "Second to None."

WHERE: Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

** All screenings will be in-person at MOPA in Balboa Park through May 21.**


  • For seven years, the GI Film Festival San Diego has worked to bridge the military-civilian divide with each film selected telling a compelling and unique story, and challenging the notions about what it means to serve.

  • Every year, the films selected go beyond one-dimensional depictions of veterans, service members, and their caregivers and families to give the festival-goer a peek behind the curtain at the difficulties and struggles that come along with serving one's country.

  • Each film selected for the festival presents a different perspective of the military experience, and reassures our veterans and their families that they are not alone and their service is appreciated.

  • The festival gives active duty military, veterans and allies a place to come together, share stories, and learn more about military heroes and events they may never see on the big screen or read in a book.a??

  • The GI Film Festival San Diego is one of only a few places in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of service members through the medium of film.


  • The GI Film Festival San Diego is making its return to the big screen from May 17-21, 2022 in-person at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

  • This year, the five-day festival will feature a selection of 26 films, including full-length documentaries, animated shorts, student projects, local films, and international films. The lineup also covers events from World War II, the Vietnam War and present day.

  • Themes and plot lines this year include mental health, military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, the untold Filipino American military experience, women in service, transitioning to civilian life, life as a military spouse, veteran suicide, prisoner of war (POW) experiences, and much more.

  • In addition to the film screenings, attendees will enjoy captivating post-screening discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, actors and subject-matter experts.

    • The panel discussions explore the important topics and issues raised in the films, give audience members an opportunity to engage directly with the filmmakers, and create a space for dialogue, camaraderie, and listening.

  • With San Diego's multi-faceted military history and seven major bases between the Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guard, it's only fitting that the region is home to the largest military film festival in the United States.

  • Established in 2006 and brought to San Diego in 2015, the multi-day military-themed festival solely presents films and events for, by and about military service members and veterans.

  • Every year, members of the GI Film Festival San Diego advisory committee help review films for the final festival selection. The film festival has active support from several military and veteran-related organizations, including Project Recover, Workshops for Warriors, Travis Manion Foundation, Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Blue Star Families San Diego, Wounded Warrior Project, San Diego Military Family Collaborative, Armed Services YMCA, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, and Courage to Call.

  • Members of the advisory committee also come from the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and many have military backgrounds, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and the Air Force Reserves. Several are military or veteran spouses. All committee members volunteer their time, talent and expertise to ensure the festival provides an authentic view of the military experience and engages its audience through post-screening discussions.

  • Over the years, the festival has also hosted several celebrities whose films had been presented at GI Film Festival San Diego events, including documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Ric Burns; actor and activist George Takei; actor Matthew Marsden; actor/producer/director Jeffrey Wright; and actor/director Brenda Strong.

  • All proceeds support the festival. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

About GI Film Festival San Diego

The GI Film Festival San Diego is a multi-day showcase of films for, by, and about military and veteran experiences. Films featured in the festival reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of service members and veterans. The festival also provides veterans and service members with an opportunity to further their creative skills.

Documentaries, shorts, narratives, and feature-length films are presented. The festival includes locally-connected films, which feature San Diego's filmmakers, events, people, or places. Post-screening discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, actors, and subject-matter experts are also part of the festival.

The festival, established in 2015, is organized by KPBS in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego. The GI Film Festival San Diego is a proud member of the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the San Diego Military Family Collaborative.


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