It's the 11th year of the festival, which will boast a few new wrinkles along with the traditional cross-genre film offerings. Chief among them: A " Cinematic Salute to the Troops" on May 27 that will include live music and celebrity appearances along with a series of short films, and a " Pitchfest" set for May 26 that will link filmmakers with industry professionals in a style similar to the ABC television hit "Shark Tank."
Screenings will take place at three theaters in Washington. The event will showcase movies highlighting the military experience, including many produced by or starring veterans. Genres range from short documentaries to animated comedies to science fiction, with the focus on veterans from current conflicts back to World War II, with multiple stops in between.
"We had enough films this year to fill two film festivals," festival president Brandon Millett said. "That’s never happened before."
Millett co-founded the event in 2007 with his wife, Laura Law-Millett, a former Army officer.
Past celebrity honorees include Gary Sinise, James Gandolfini, Joe Mantenga and Lou Diamond Phillips. Last year's super-sized 10th anniversary event featured a concert by Sinise's Lt. Dan Band, GI Choice Award winner Stephen Lang ("Avatar," "Don't Breathe") showing his documentary " Beyond Glory," and the cast of the veteran-made "Range 15" debuting their zombie-slaying horror-comedy.
Tickets for this year's screenings and events go on sale in early April, but a variety of full-festival passes are available now. A full slate of events, including celebrity appearances, will be released in May.
Festival fans can visit www.militarytimes.com/gifilms or the festival's official website for updates, trailers and more details; Military Times is the festival's official media sponsor.