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GI Film Festival San Diego Announces 2024 Festival Dates, Issues Last Call for Film Submissions

Military-themed film festival returns to Balboa Park May 6-11, 2024

SAN DIEGO, CA – Nov. 3, 2023 – The annual GI Film Festival San Diego brings together filmmakers and film enthusiasts, united through their connections to the military and love for the cinema, to present films for, by and about military and veterans. The 2024 military-themed film festival will be held May 6-11 once again at the Museum of Photographic Arts at the San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA @ SDMA) in Balboa Park, concluding with an evening awards celebration on Saturday, May 11.

Films featured in the GI Film Festival San Diego reveal the struggles, triumphs and experiences of service members, veterans and their loved ones. The festival also provides veterans and service members with an opportunity to further their creative skills. Film submissions will be accepted until Veterans Day on November 11. After the final film submission deadline, members of the GI Film Festival San Diego advisory committee, comprised of veterans, military spouses and individuals with close ties to military and veteran-related organizations, review them for festival selection. A formal announcement of the festival’s film lineup will follow.

GI Film Festival San Diego is for the community

The film screenings at the GI Film Festival San Diego are open to all. The online box office will open in March. Attendees can secure their tickets for individual screenings or multi-ticket packs to attend multiple screenings. Tickets for most screenings will start at $10 each, or $8 for military, veterans and KPBS members. Because some films may cover sensitive topics, organizers recommend screening guests to be at least 18 years of age.

“We’re excited to share dates for the 2024 GI Film Festival San Diego with the region and begin to accelerate the festival planning process,” says Nancy Worlie, Chief Content and Communications Officer, KPBS. “It’s such an opportunity for the community because it isn’t just about enjoying quality films; it’s also about supporting a community, fostering understanding and honoring the stories and experiences of those who have served.” 

For up-to-date information on the 2024 film festival, how to attend and ways to get involved, visit If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor of the GI Film Festival San Diego, contact

2024 GI Film Festival San Diego calls for film submissions by Nov. 11 deadline

The GI Film Festival San Diego encourages submissions of military-themed films from filmmakers of every level, from first-timers to professionals. Submissions are also accepted from filmmakers who serve or have served in the military, regardless of whether or not the film submission is military-themed. 

Films that reflect and amplify the diverse experiences of our military and veterans are especially desired, including stories by or about people of various ethnicities, races, genders, economic backgrounds and those who identify LGBTQIA+.

The GI Film Festival San Diego is open to U.S. and international entries and accepts films in the following categories: documentary shorts, documentary features, narrative shorts, narrative features, student narrative shorts and student documentary shorts. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2021.

Filmmakers have until November 11 to submit their films for consideration for the 2024 GI Film Festival San Diego. For more information on the submission process, please visit

Nearly a decade of military films in San Diego

Since its establishment in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego has showcased over 260 films created by international, U.S., and San Diego County filmmakers, drawing in diverse audiences numbering in more than 11,000. The festival’s core mission is to bridge the gap between the military and civilian communities, with each film chosen specifically to share a compelling and distinctive narrative. By challenging preconceptions about service and offering multidimensional portrayals of veterans, service members, caregivers and families, the festival provides a platform for service personnel turned filmmakers to present their unique stories on the cinematic stage.

Throughout its history in D.C. and San Diego, the GI Film Festival has welcomed notable personalities, including documentarians Ken Burns and Ric Burns, General (Ret.) Richard Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the late US Senator John McCain, actors Gary Sinise, Glenn Close, Matthew Marsden, Lou Diamond Phillips, Joe Mantegna, George Takei and Jeffrey Wright. 

Annually, the GI Film Festival San Diego advisory committee engages in a rigorous film selection process. The festival has garnered substantial support from various military and veteran-related organizations, ranging from San Diego State University’s Art and Joan Barron Veterans Center to Project Recover, Travis Manion Foundation, and many more. The diverse advisory committee, comprising individuals from SAG-AFTRA and other individuals with varied military backgrounds and experiences, brings an authentic perspective. Several are military or veteran spouses. Their selfless dedication as volunteers ensures the festival captivates audiences, initiates insightful post-screening audience discussions, and fosters a deeper understanding of the military experience.

About GI Film Festival San Diego 

Established in 2015, 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 experiences of service members, veterans and their families. 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 international and local films.  Local films feature San Diego’s filmmakers, events, people, or places. 

Film screenings are followed by discussions with filmmakers, actors, documentary subjects, and/or subject-matter experts. The festival concludes with an exciting awards celebration, honoring excellence in film making across more than a dozen categories.

The festival is organized by KPBS in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego.

The 2024 festival is sponsored in part by Feeding San Diego, Scatena Daniels Communications, Southwestern College, U.S. Bank, the USS Midway Foundation and Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego.  

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. 

About KPBS 

KPBS connects, reflects and serves all of our communities with trusted programming and dialogue. KPBS delivers this content to more than 1.3 million audience members weekly via multiple platforms, including television, radio, and digital media. As a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from children’s programming to community discussions on important issues our region is facing, to local news coverage. KPBS provides stories that make us think, help us dream, and keep us connected. For more information, visit