Help GI Film Fest Destroy Veteran Stereotypes
Help GIFF foster a positive image for the troops by hiring two veterans and expanding its programs.
Hi, I’m Laura. I grew up in a military family as an Army brat and served in the Army and Army reserves. After seeing too many movies portray veterans in a very negative light, I decided to do something about it. Together with my husband, Brandon, I started the GI Film Fest, (aka “Sundance for the Troops,”) which helps veterans tell their stories and be heard. This is a big mission! And we can’t do it alone. We need to hire at least two veterans for our team to expand our programs. Will you help?
Who We Are:
My name is Laura and I am the co-founder of the GI Film Festival. I spent 18 years as an Army brat and 14 years in the Army and Army reserve with multiple overseas deployments. If you are like me, you may find it hard, given our backgrounds, that there are still people in the country who don’t know much, if anything about the military. All they know is what they see through film and television.
And when film and television programs get us wrong — and they often do — this causes real suffering to veterans returning home. This is why we started the GIFF: to tell stories which show the courage, honor, and sacrifice of those who serve. Together with a great group of volunteers, and some amazing people of influence in the military and entertainment industry, we are making a difference for our veterans. The GI Film Festival is one-of-a-kind, award-winning, and a voice for veterans on the cultural landscape.
What We Do:
GIFF hosts the award-winning GI Film Festival DC, GI Film Festival San Diego, and multiple military base road shows which focus on movies and television shows that show the real-life successes and sacrifices of military veterans. GIFF also produces film and television programming, markets and distributes film content, trains military veteran filmmakers in the business side of entertainment, and produces film therapy programs for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress.
What People Say:
Gary Sinise described GIFF as the “go-to place” for military themed- programming.Michelle Monaghan said GIFF was “the most profound experience of my entire career.” Jeff Ross said GIFF was the “coolest film festival in the world.”
But perhaps the most rewarding comments about GIFF come from its filmmakers.Gary Mortensen, director of the the GIFF film Shepherds of Helmand, once wrote, “GIFF transcends the world of film festivals by creating a true community where passionate filmmakers, our veterans and those who support them can gather for a few magical days to educate, heal and preserve the legacies of our veterans. Every city in America should experience what they have built.” (That’s our goal,Gary!)
Where We Are Going:
Here’s the deal. There are so many opportunities to expand GIFF’s programs and influence, but as currently organized (with our merry band of part-timers and volunteers) we do not have the staff to pursue them. We plan to hire at least two military veterans to come on board full-time and help GIFF stay alive and thrive on the cultural landscape. We also plan to expand our veteran training programs to help military storytellers get their films and television programs into the marketplace.
That’s where you come in!
What You Can Do:
I’m asking for your help today – to help us set things right. Help veterans see their stories on TV. Help veterans transition to a nation who understands them. To make these hires and expand our programs we seek $250,000 in funding. Specifically, these funds will be used to:
- Hire an executive director to help leader our organization into the next decade.
- Hire a business development person to help our organization create strategic partnerships.
- Hire an admin person to keep our organization running.
- Fund our film therapy program to help veterans heal by creating and telling their stories.
In exchange – you can get some cool perks – like seeing your name in on the big screen! Sharing the stage with celebrities! Or getting a cool video from a celebrity who is saying thank you!
The impact of your donation will be immense! Just look at how far GIFF has come in its first decade! GIFF has led the effort to change the narrative for veterans in entertainment by ushering hundreds of positive stories into the marketplace. We’ve also made inroads into Hollywood, helping studios, producers and directors better understand the quality and character of our service-members. With just a little more help, we’ll be able to ensure that GIFF can remain on the cultural landscape while providing services to our military veteran community.
Other Ways You Can Help
I understand that times may be tight for you and your family right now. That’s okay – we have all been there. However, even if you can’t contribute financially, you can still help in other ways.
- Be a champion for the GI Film Festival campaign – share our campaign on FB, Twitter, Instagram – wherever you connect with people.
- Sign up for our newsletter to keep abreast of all things GI Film Festival: http://gifilmfestival.com/newsletter/
- Like us on Facebook – /gifilm and follow us on twitter @gifilm.
Thank you so much for your support! We sincerely appreciate your help!