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GI Film Festival San Diego’s Family Movie Night to Feature Marvel Studios’ Smash Hit ‘Captain Marvel’

Friday, Sept. 6: Families welcome to see the blockbuster film under the stars aboard the USS Midway Museum; US Air Force Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt scheduled to attend event; Attendees encouraged to donate packages of new socks for homeless veterans and military families


SAN DIEGO, CA – June 27, 2019 – Organizers of the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego once again invite San Diego County families to fly “higher, further, and faster” at their annual Family Movie Night. This year’s film is the action-packed “Captain Marvel,” the story from Marvel Studios that follows Carol Danvers (played by actress Brie Larson) who becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

Guests who attend the Sept. 6 event aboard the USS Midway Museum will have a chance to meet U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, who was the first female fighter pilot in 1993 and was the first woman to command a USAF combat fighter wing. She helped prepare Larson for the demanding role and taught her about what it takes to be a F-15 fighter pilot in a male-dominated squadron. Leavitt taught Larson the small details only a skilled pilot would know. “It was wonderful,” says Brig. Gen. Leavitt when asked what it was like working with Larson during a red carpet interview for the world premiere of the movie. “I really appreciated how interested she was in being very genuine in her character. It’s great to see…all of these opportunities are available to women now, and when they join our team they become part of something special. [Being a good fighter pilot takes] grit, determination and you’ve gotta be able to think really fast.”

According to, women not only make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, but also an increasingly larger percentage of the U.S. military. “History shows that no matter where you put us, women in the military are dedicated, hard-working and unstoppable,” says RanDee McLain, LCSW, Program Director of Mental Health Systems, U.S. Navy veteran, and longtime GI Film Festival San Diego advisory committee member. “As a veteran, I’m proud to continue to see opportunities open for women in the military. But we still have a long way to go when it comes to being seen as equal to our male counterparts. That’s why women like Brig. Gen. Leavitt who paved the way for us are so important to our military history.”

Guests Encouraged to Donate Socks of Any Size 

Not only is the annual Family Movie Night a time for families to spend time together, but it’s also a chance to give back to our community. In collaboration with Courage to Call, GI Film Festival San Diego organizers will collect new socks for local homeless veterans and military families in need. The average person walks four miles a day, and a homeless person walks approximately 10 miles a day. This is a lot of footwork, and clean warm socks are a true treasure especially when there is no cozy home or laundry room to return to each night. 

“We’ve been a proud longtime supporter of the GI Film Festival San Diego since its inauguration in 2015, and are excited to work in partnership with them on a sock drive at Family Movie Night to help our veterans and military families,” says Jennifer Santis, Community Liaison, Courage to Call. “Every sock donation is a step in the right direction. We challenge attendees to be a hero for our nation’s heroes and their families.”

Know Before You Go to GI Film Festival San Diego Family Movie Night 2019

The one-night-only Family Movie Night featuring “Captain Marvel” is Friday, Sept. 6 aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego Harbor. Guests can begin boarding the vessel at 6:30 p.m., and the film starts at 7:45 p.m. Tickets to this special screening will be available to the public mid-July on the GI Film Festival San Diego website at

Pre-show activities will take place in the museum’s hanger bay and will include music, red carpet photo opportunities, resource tables and giveaways from military-connected organizations, and more. Festival organizers are working with partner organizations to provide complimentary tickets to local military families, including Elizabeth Hospice, Challenged Athletes Foundation, SAY San Diego, Armed Services YMCA of San Diego, Mental Health Systems, and more.

The popular Family Movie Night occurs in advance of the GI Film Festival San Diego, Sept. 24-29, 2019, and is organized by KPBS in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego and the GI Film Group. Official sponsors of the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego include Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling, The Super Dentists, BAE Systems, SAG/AFTRA, and Scatena Daniels Communications. The GI Film Festival San Diego is a proud member of the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the San Diego Military Family Collaborative. For complete details on the 5th annual festival, visit

About ‘Captain Marvel’

Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” follows Carol Danvers who becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. “Captain Marvel” stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan, Lee Pace, and Ben Mendelsohn. The film was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and was released in March 2019. The run time is 124 minutes. Rated PG-13.

About Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt

Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt is the Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The Air Force Recruiting Service comprises more than 2,470 airmen and civilians in more than 1,200 recruiting offices across the U.S. and abroad. She is responsible for all enlisted accessions and a variety of officer accession programs. AFRS also manages all strategic marketing for the U.S. Air Force. 

General Leavitt entered the Air Force in 1992 after earning her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas and her master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. She earned her commission as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Gen. Leavitt has served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments and has commanded at the flight, squadron and wing level. She is a graduate and former instructor of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours. Her operational experiences include Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Prior to her current assignment she served as the 57th Wing Commander, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the Air Force’s most diverse flying wing comprised of 37 squadrons at 13 installations with a variety of more than 130 aircraft.

About Courage to Call

Courage to Call is dedicated to improving mental wellness for Veterans, Active Duty, Reservists, National Guardsmen, and their families via countywide outreach and education, a 24/7 peer line, as well as individual short-term, solution focused prevention-oriented plans. This program is led by veterans and their family members.

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.

About GI Film Group

The GI Film Group is a full service media company dedicated to preserving the stories of military veterans. GIFG is the production entity behind the award-winning GI Film Festival (GIFF), a 501c(3), also known as “Sundance for the Troops,” which was established in 2006 in Washington, DC. The festival is the first in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film. 

About KPBS                        

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 provide stories that make us think, help us dream, and keep us connected. For more information, visit