2014 GI Film Festival starts May 19

The GI Film Festival (GIFF), the country’s select award-winning organization preserving the stories of American veterans, returns to Washington May 19-25 for its eighth year. The seven-day festival, known as “Sundance for the Troops,” features 56 film screenings and premieres, celebrity meet-and-greets, red-carpet soirees and exclusive embassy and Capitol Hill events.

Film premiere and screening highlights include: the world premiere of the Civil War narrative feature “Field of Lost Shoes” (May 19), an advanced screening of the Sony/Affirm Films feature “When the Game Stands Tall” (May 22), the big-screen premiere of the documentary “The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War” (May 23), and the East Coast premiere of the dramatic feature “Fort Bliss” (May 25) – with cast members, producers and directors scheduled to attend.

The weeklong festival’s film lineup covers every aspect of military triumph and struggle, from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to showcasing courage on the battlefield, the GIFF 2014 lineup also brings attention to issues facing returning GIs on the homefront, including post-traumatic stress, family issues and unemployment. Its mission: to bridge the gap between the military and the general public with dynamic films and special events. "There is no question this is the most power-packed, emotionally compelling film lineup we've ever showcased. These films will shock you. They will move you. They will entertain you. And I guarantee you will come away with a greater understanding of the experiences of military veterans of all generations and their families," GI Film Festival President Brandon Millett said in a statement.

For the full weeklong festival schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit www.gifilmfestival.com. Single issue tickets range from $12 for matinee screenings to $50 for primetime screenings with admission to after-parties. Active-duty military discounts are available The American Legion is a longtime sponsor of the GIFF, which is a 2010 recipient of the National Commander’s PR Award.