GI Film Festival San Diego honors decades of war heroes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

GI Film Festival San Diego honors decades of war heroes

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) —  This year's GI Film Festival San Diego will be held Oct. 18 through Oct. 22 at various venues around the county including the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, Regal Carlsbad 12, USS Midway Museum and AMC Mission Valley 20. 

The opening night screening is "The Two Sides Project," which tells the story of gold star children who traveled to Vietnam to learn more about the death of their fathers.

News 8 photojournalist James Mann spoke with one of the subjects about how the trip gave her closure: 

Also featured at the festival will be Ryan Kelly who went from the Navy to the director's chair and he's not the only service member bringing their vision to the big screen.

In the video above, Kelly and president of the Film Consortium San Diego, Jodi Cilley spoke with News 8 about the GI Film Festival San Diego

Jodi Cilley shared why this film festival is important to the military community in San Diego. She also explained the need for diverse voices represented in film to serve the underrepresented communities that play a crucial role in U.S. military history. 

Films selected for this year’s GI Film Festival San Diego feature diverse stories with themes ranging from women in the military, resiliency and recovery, transitioning from active duty to veteran status, and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Selections also highlight military experiences from within the Hispanic, African American, and Asian cultures. 

Kelly talked about the excitement behind being a part of the GI Film Festival San Diego for the third year, and the importance of military-themed film festivals as a United States Navy veteran. 

A post shared by Ryan P. Kelly (@eyeofrye) on

His film, “The Light Once Captured,” was featured in the 2016 GI Film Festival San Diego and won Best Narrative Short. 

This year his film “Refuge” will be screened on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3:30 p.m. at the AMC Mission Valley 20.  

The short film "Refuge" tells the story of four women trying to escape a horrible future world in which male babies are not being born. The government has instituted a breeding program that forces all able women to become breeders in hopes of increasing the number of male babies. Taking a gamble with experimental science is their only hope of escaping this fate. 

“Refuge” is nominated for the 2017 GI Film Festival San Diego awards for Best Narrative Short, Local Choice Award, Best Film Made by a Veteran or Service Member, Best Actor, and Best Actress. 

For a full film schedule with titles and additional festival event information, visit

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