GI Film Festival San Diego Calls for Submissions from Around the World
San Diego’s military film festival returns May 18-23, 2021; Film submissions due Dec. 2
SAN DIEGO, CA – Nov. 21, 2020 – A military-themed festival that presents films and events for, by, and about military service members and veterans, the GI Film Festival San Diego is now accepting submissions from filmmakers around the world by Dec. 2, 2020 to be shown at the festival slated for May 18-23, 2021.
“We just completed our first-ever Virtual Film Showcase in early October, which showcased six films over two nights. Now our team has jumped into working on bringing the full festival back in the spring for another successful year,” says Nancy Worlie, associate general manager of content and communications, KPBS. “We look forward to once again bringing together our active duty military, veterans, families and allies to experience heartwarming, raw, realistic and entertaining stories.” KPBS was named the sole producer of the national film festival in May 2020. All activities now originate in San Diego, California, including the awards competition, judging, and in-person film screenings.
An annual tradition for military, civilians and filmmakers to come together
Over multiple days, the GI Film Festival San Diego features films that reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of service members and veterans through compelling and authentic storytelling. All major film genres, including documentaries, shorts, and personal narratives, will be featured. Festival organizers are encouraging film submissions that reflect and amplify the diverse experiences of U.S. military and veterans, including stories by or about people of different ethnicities, races, genders, economic backgrounds, and those who identify LGBTQIA+. These perspectives play an important role in U.S. military history and culture, and are too often untold.
The films are reviewed and selected by a dedicated advisory committee team made up of several local military-related organizations, such as Project Recover, Workshops for Warriors, Travis Manion Foundation, Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Blue Star Families San Diego, American History Theatre, San Diego Military Family Collaborative, Armed Services YMCA, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, Courage to Call, and Joan & Art Barron Veterans Center at San Diego State University. Members of the advisory committee also come from various military backgrounds, including veterans of the US Marine Corps, US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, US Coast Guard, as well as Air Force Reserves and several military spouses to ensure the festival provides an authentic view of the military experience and engages its audience through post-screening discussions.
Since its inception in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego has presented more than 170 films and attracted thousands of attendees from around the world. As a community effort to help bridge the military-civilian divide, each film selected tells a compelling and unique story to challenge notions about what it means to serve and goes beyond the one-dimensional depictions of veterans, service members, their caregivers, and families that we typically see on the big screen. In addition to international filmmakers, the festival also honors San Diego area filmmakers through the festival’s Local Film Showcase, organized in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego.
GI Film Festival San Diego has also gained the attention of several celebrities that took part in films selected for the festival, 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.
Films selected and events for the 2021 GI Film Festival San Diego will be announced in March 2021. For more information on the festival and details on how to submit your film, visit www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org
General Deadline to Submit for the 2021 GI Film Festival San Diego is Dec. 2
Professional, independent, and student filmmakers who are veterans or current service members can submit entries on any topic. All other filmmakers are requested to submit films that connect with the military or veteran experience.
The final deadline to submit films for consideration in next year’s festival is Dec. 2, 2020. The entry fee is $45 for professional and independent filmmakers and $30 for students.
GI Film Festival San Diego 2021 Submission Requirements
To be considered for the 2021 GI Film Festival San Diego, films must have been completed after January 1, 2018 and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- A storyline or narrative arc that is about the military experience, past or current day, USA or international, during service or back home after service.
- A film of any genre, military-themed or not, featuring above the line talent who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. military. Above the line talent includes: director, writer, producer, and/or principal actor/actress.
Submissions are considered for the following categories:
- Narrative Short (under 60 minutes)
- Documentary Short (under 60 minutes)
- Narrative Feature (60 minutes and over)
- Documentary Feature (60 minutes and over)
- Narrative or Documentary Short (under 60 minutes)
- Local Film Showcase San Diego
NOTE: The festival does not accept screenplays, music videos, marketing videos, non-profit institutional videos or testimonials that are not independently produced, and PSAs.
Local Film Showcase Submission Requirements
Submissions for the 2021 GI Film Festival San Diego’s Local Film Showcase must have been completed after January 1, 2018, entered under the Local Film Showcase San Diego category, and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- A storyline or narrative arc that is about the military experience within San Diego County or Imperial County.
- A military-themed film that is made by individual(s) who reside in San Diego County or Imperial County.
- A military-themed film that features more than 60% of cast and crew from San Diego County or Imperial County.
- A military-themed film that was shot or edited within San Diego County or Imperial County.
- A film of any genre featuring local above the line talent who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. military. Local filmmakers should reside in San Diego County or Imperial County. Above the line talent includes: director, writer, producer, and/or principal actor/actress.
To be considered for the Local Choice Award, the film must have at least 60% of the cast, crew and locations sourced from San Diego County or Imperial County.
NOTE: It is not necessary to enter your film in more than one category. Student category films that are also local should only be entered under “student.” Local Film Showcase submissions will also be considered under other award categories.
About GI Film Festival San Diego
The festival presents films and events for, by, and about military and veterans. The event is organized by KPBS and partners with the Film Consortium San Diego to present the Local Film Showcase. The festival is funded in part by a grant from the California Arts Council. Additional support is provided by Scatena Daniels Communications. The GI Film Festival San Diego is a member of the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the San Diego Military Family Collaborative.
About Film Consortium San Diego
The Film Consortium San Diego is a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region and increases networking, employment, education, funding and distribution opportunities in film, television and new media. The Film Consortium hosts and organizes the San Diego Film Awards, San Diego Film Week, and various screening and networking events.
KPBS serves San Diego and Imperial counties with trusted news and programs that tell the stories of our time. KPBS delivers this content to more than one million audience members weekly via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media. As a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from our children’s programming to our local news coverage. KPBS provides stories that make us think, help us dream, and keep us connected. For more information, visit kpbs.org.