Editor's note: Military Times will spotlight a group of GI Film Festival selections regularly in the run-up to the festival. 

The Category: Cinematic Salute to the Troops


The Films: "All American," "The Jockstrap Raiders" and "Places Like This"

The Breakdown: The short-film trio will be part of a larger celebration of service that will mark the GI Film Festival's first foray into variety entertainment. Along with the movies, the two-hour salute will include appearances by actors Tom Berenger and Judd Nelson, and music from Ayla Brown, a contestant in the fifth season of "American Idol." Navy veteran, stand-up comedian and TV host Jamie Kaler will emcee the proceedings. 

As for the on-screen fare:

  • "All American" takes viewers alongside the life's journey of a D-Day paratrooper who, after 72 years, flies aboard the same plane he took into combat. This time, the great-grandfather has his family at his side.
  • "The Jockstrap Raiders" offers a wild, animated take on a fictional unit of British misfits tasked with a critical mission during World War I.
  • "Places Like This" follows a group of veterans into Colorado's winter wilderness as they attempt to climb a 13,000-foot mountain. Directed and produced by a former Air Force combat videographer.

The Trailers:

All American Trailer

72 years later, WWII hero Les Cruise flies again on the same plane from D-Day. This time his family boarded with him. While he is one of the last surviving D-Day paratroopers, Cruise’s story is not only about his historic jump. It’s also about his familial journey: from orphan to great-grandfather.

The Jockstrap Raiders Trailer

The Jockstrap Raiders takes place during World War I in Leeds, England. A group of underdog misfits are excluded from the war due to various abnormalities. Threatened by the invading German Kaiser and his army, they must learn to become a team and overcome their deficiencies in order to save Britain and the world.

Places Like This Trailer

Places Like This is the story of a group of veterans embarking on a six day winter expedition into the Colorado wilderness hoping to use nature to nurture old wounds.

The Event: Tickets for the Cinematic Salute to the Troops, which takes place May 27 at 7 p.m. at the Howard Theater, are available here; full-festival passes are also available.

The Rundown: For more on these films and others, visit the GI Film Festival's  official site.