SAN DIEGO – Oct. 1, 2019 – The GI Film Festival San Diego announced the 2019 winners at its Awards Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Parq Event Center in Downtown San Diego. More than 100 people attended the soiree hosted by comedian, TV host and former U.S. Navy Officer, Jamie Kaler, with featured entertainment by the Sol e Mar Trio.
This year’s festival featured 34 films, 13 screenings, and countless opportunities to celebrate our military history, talent and dedication. The six-day festival brought together filmmakers, active duty service members and veterans from around the world to experience and share compelling and authentic storytelling. The awards program honored filmmaking excellence produced by international, national and local filmmakers.
The narrative short “#3 Normandy Lane” directed by actress Brenda Strong (“Desperate Housewives,” “Starship Troopers,” “Supergirl”) was the runaway winner of the evening, earning three awards in the following national categories: Best Actress, Best Narrative Short and Best First-Time Filmmaker. “#3 Normandy Lane” was Strong’s directorial debut.
National Award Winners
The following titles are winners in the GI Film Festival San Diego 2019’s national categories:
Best Actor: Best performance by an actor; performer does not have to be a current military service member or veteran. Frankie Muniz, “The Black String”
Best Actress: Best performance by an actress; performer does not have to be a current military service member or veteran. Scottie Thompson, “#3 Normandy Lane”
Best Narrative Short: Best narrative film under 60 minutes. “#3 Normandy Lane,” Directed by Brenda Strong, End Stop Star Entertainment
Best Documentary Feature: Best documentary film 60 minutes or more. “The Donut Dollies”, Directed by Norm Anderson and Jess Hill, Paloma Productions
Best Documentary Short: Best documentary film under 60 minutes. “Remains,” Directed by Joe Day and Jose Rodriguez
Best Student Film: Best film of any length or style (documentary or narrative) by a student filmmaker. “A Rodeo Film,” Directed by Ryan Binse
Best First-Time Filmmaker: Best film of any length or style (documentary or narrative) by a filmmaker in their directorial debut. Brenda Strong, “#3 Normandy Lane”
Best International Film: Best International Film Award goes to the highest scoring film out of our top internationally produced submissions. “Entrenched,” Directed by Joseph Chebatte
Best Film Made By or Starring Veterans or Military: Best film of any length or style (documentary or narrative) that features current military and/or veterans in key roles (Producer, Director, Writer, Lead Actor/Actress). “WAR PAINT,” Directed by J.C. Doler and Taylor Bracewell
Founders Choice Award: The Founder’s Choice Award, selected by the GI Film Festival founders, goes to the best told story of their top festival picks. “Homemade,” Directed by Jason Maris and Danielle Bernstein, Clear Films
Local Film Showcase 2019 Award Winners
The following titles are winners in the Local Film Showcase for the GI Film Festival San Diego 2019. These winners are all connected to San Diego in some way, such as the filmmaker’s place of residence/production office, film subject, shooting/editing, historic event, or other meaningful tie in. San Diego County areas of residence or neighborhood where the film was created are included if filmmakers provided this information:
Local Film Showcase – Best Narrative Short: Best narrative film under 60 minutes. “The Man I Want to Be,” Directed by Devin Scott, American Dream Cinema
Local Film Showcase – Best Film Made By or Starring Veterans or Military: Best film of any length or style (documentary or narrative) that features current military and/or veterans in key roles (Producer, Director, Writer, Lead Actor/Actress). “This One Step,” Directed by Austin & Westin Ray
Local Film Showcase – Local Choice Award: Best film where at least 60 percent of the cast, crew and locations were sourced from San Diego County or Imperial County. “Polka.” By Andrew Brame, Phillip Elgie Media
The next GI Film Festival San Diego is scheduled for September 2020. For up-to-date information on the festival and to be notified of the film submission process for 2020, visit GIFilmFestivalSD.org.
About GI Film Festival San Diego
The festival is organized by KPBS in partnership with the Film Consortium San Diego and the GI Film Group. Official sponsors of the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego include: Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling, The Super Dentists, BAE Systems, Family Fare, SAG-AFTRA, and AT&T. Additional support is provided by Scatena Daniels Communications and San Diego Magazine. The GI Film Festival San Diego is a proud 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 GI Film Group
The GI Film Group is a full service media company dedicated to preserving the stories of military veterans. GIFG is the production entity behind the award-winning GI Film Festival (GIFF), a 501c(3), also known as “Sundance for the Troops,” which was established in 2006 in Washington, DC. The festival is the first in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film.
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