OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023

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– Ground-Breaking Film Program Set to Launch in September 2015

San Diego, CA (September 4, 2015) — The San Diego Film Festival (SDFF), produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, announced today a new year-round Military Initiative. Kicking off at the 2015 San Diego Film Festival, the program will offer a diverse range of independent and studio films about service members telling their stories followed by discussions with military personnel. Now in its 14th year, SDFF will commence on September 30th and run through October 4th, featuring more than 100 film screenings, panels and events. The most up to date program is available at www.sdfilmfest.com.   

Through the conviction that film changes lives, the San Diego Film Festival has developed a comprehensive program designed to implement its mission to veterans and the military community. With the support and partnership of several military organizations, private donors, corporate sponsors and underwriters, this ground-breaking initiative is set to launch at the 2015 San Diego Film Festival. Co-Chairing the Military Initiative will be Matthew Shillingburg, Global Defense Acquisition Consultant and former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer.  Aubry Causey, retired DoD industry executive and former U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Commander.

The San Diego Film Festival Military Film Track features films that focus on reintegration issues, PTSD and Wounded Warriors. Following the screenings, discussions will be led by panels of key military personnel. SDFF will screen leading independent film on military bases, specifically films that focus on issues concerning our returning military service members. In spring 2016, Combat to Camera: A Storytelling Program will launch and engage high school students who have service members in their family. The goal is to have students produce a short film about their family member, allowing the soldier the opportunity to tell their story in order to start the reintegration and healing process. Lastly, the festival will host concerts, family days and other events planned throughout the year to help bring the community and service members together.

“The San Diego Film Festival is a reflection of the city of San Diego which has the 2nd largest number of military personnel in the nation,” said Dale Strack, Chairman of the San Diego Film Festival. “It is our obligation and responsibility to not only recognize their contribution but also to honor their service. We have assembled a top tier Advisory Board to help bring this program to life and together we will share stories of our service men and women through the power of film. Together we can work to create an understanding and bridge the gap of empathy between the civilian community and our armed forces to foster the spirit of One Nation unified on the home front.

“I’m honored to serve on the San Diego Film Foundation’s Military Advisory Board”, said Brigadier General Michael I. Neil. “I believe that these are serious and significant issues that oftentimes go unaddressed. By utilizing the power of the San Diego Film Festival, we are able to have a bigger voice and that will bring us one step closer to changing lives.”

2015 San Diego Film Festival Military Films:

WEST OF REDEMPTION: On a remote American farm in late 1989, a husband opens the door to a traveler who needs to phone for a tow truck. The next day, the traveler awakes, hands and feet bound, in the barn, taken hostage for reasons unknown.

NO GREATER LOVE: A combat deployment through the eyes of an Army chaplain who carried a camera as he and his men fought their way through a hellish tour in one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan.

RETURN TO DAK TO: Disturbed by new American wars, writer and Vietnam ambulance driver Christopher Upham reconnects with long-lost 299th Engineer comrades, who thought he was killed in the 1969 siege at Dak To.

BIRTHDAY: A young military wife gets news that her Marine husband has been severely wounded in combat, she discovers that life ahead for them is going to be a difficult and yet amazing journey.   

DAY ONE: Inspired by a true story, an Afghan-American woman on the heels of a divorce joins the US Military as an interpreter. On her first day of deployment in Afghanistan, the interpreter must go beyond the call of duty to deliver a breech child.

The San Diego Film Festival is produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation.

About the San Diego Film Festival
Founded in 2001, the San Diego Film Festival, currently produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, is the region’s premier showcase for outstanding U.S. and international independent filmmaking. The five-day event is an entertaining, enlightening and educational gathering that embraces the region’s diverse cultural landscape, enhances the arts community and expands the economic vitality of San Diego. Learn more about the San Diego Film Festival at www.sdfilmfest.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.

About the San Diego Film Foundation
The San Diego Film Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that produces the annual San Diego Film Festival. Its mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking through producing an annual film festival, developing stimulating film-related events throughout the year, supporting and nurturing student filmmaking programs in local schools, supporting the development of the local filmmaking industry, and enhancing the economic growth of San Diego.


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