WHAT: Three survivors from the USS Indianapolis tragedy to arrive in classic cars flanked by 20+ members of the San Diego Harley Owners Group (HOG) for the West Coast Premiere of the documentary film they are featured in at the Opening Night Screening of San Diego’s only military film festival — the second annual GI Film Festival San Diego, presented by Sullivan Solar Power.
Following the screening of “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy,” there will be a Q&A featuring local filmmakers Sara Vladic and Melanie Capacia Johnson along with USS Indianapolis survivors Al Celaya (U.S. Navy), Ed Harrell (U.S. Marine Corps), and John Woolston (U.S. Navy).
A tragic experience that was originally overshadowed by the announcement of the end of World War II, “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” is not just a story about shark attacks and the open sea, but also a story of resilience and the importance of never giving up, no matter the situation. The documentary took 10 years to produce and features only first-person accounts from 107 survivors of the USS Indianapolis tragedy. The WWII heavy cruiser was attacked by a torpedo leaving the sailors exposed in shark-infest waters for several days. Upon return to the U.S. 71 years ago, their first stop was San Diego. Out of 107 survivors, only 23 remain.
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016
WHERE: Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA, Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101)
WHERE TO PARK YOUR TRUCK: Enter El Prado area from Village Place. Fiberglass barriers can be removed so you can enter the area. Park your truck in front of the Museum of Photographic Arts on the SOUTH side of El Prado. We are not allowed to have trucks on both sides of the El Prado. We encourage you to arrive between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
BEST TIME TO COVER:
- We can best accommodate live hits for the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts. But if you want something earlier, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate.
- 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Best time for recorded and/or live interviews with filmmakers and festival spokespersons
- 6:15 p.m.: Motorcade to arrive at Village Place, where the motorcycles and cars will pull up to drop off the survivors. Then, the survivors will walk to the Museum of Photographic Arts.
- 6:15 to 6:30 p.m.: USS Indianapolis survivors available for interviews. Taped interviews preferred.
- 7 p.m.: Film Screening begins.
VISUALS AND SPOKESPERSONS:
- Step and repeat, search lights, and red carpet entry to be in place by 6 p.m.
- Sara Vladic, filmmaker, “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” (She is a resident of San Marcos)
- Melanie Capacia Johnson, filmmaker, “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” (She is a resident of Oceanside, and a SDSU alum)
- Al Celaya, U.S. Navy veteran, USS Indianapolis survivor
- Ed Harrell, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, USS Indianapolis survivor
- John Woolston, U.S Navy veteran, USS Indianapolis survivor
- Bob Lawrence, advisory committee member, GI Film Festival San Diego
- Sheldon Margolis, advisory committee member, GI Film Festival San Diego and executive director, Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
- Phillip Sammuli, advisory committee member, GI Film Festival San Diego and director of corporate relations, Armed Services YMCA San Diego
- View movie trailer here: http://bit.ly/2bn7DQY
MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
“USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” is a thrilling retelling of the fate of the World War II heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis and exclusively uses first-person accounts from 107 survivors of the devastating torpedo attack. The film took 10 years to produce with 207 full time days or 1,637 hours to edit and finalize. It made its debut at the GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA earlier this year winning Best of Fest and Best Female Director (Sara Vladic). The film now makes its West Coast Premiere at the GI Film Festival San Diego.
An encore screening of “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center. This screening is also sold out. To purchase tickets and for more information about this film or any other screenings, visit http://www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org
The 98-minute film is nominated for the GI Film Festival San Diego’s Best Documentary Feature and Local Choice Award. Festival award winners will be announced at the Closing Celebration and Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.
ABOUT THE GI FILM FESTIVAL SAN DIEGO:
- Sullivan Solar Power Presents the GI Film Festival San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.
- FESTIVAL WEBSITE: http://www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org
- The festival features 28 films for, about, and by service men and women and brings the stories of America’s military to life through film. Film screenings and related events will be presented in Balboa Park, Coronado, and Mission Valley.
- This year, several of the films focus on lesser known true military stories that will satisfy any film aficionado’s appetite for a good story.
- The films come from around the United States as well as here in San Diego and range from feature length films to shorts, giving the audience an opportunity to view a variety of stories in a short amount of time. They are presented within themed blocks so audience members can fully immerse themselves in the festival experience.
- Theme blocks include:
- Facing Crisis
- How We Heal
- Remembering Vietnam
- Salute to the Navy
- WWII POW Stories
- Out of the 28 films selected at GI Film Festival San Diego, 16 were presented at the GI Film Festival held in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA in May 2016, including several “Best of Fest” winners.
- There are ten West Coast Premieres and two World Premieres.
- The film festival advisory committee consists of members of the San Diego military community representing organizations such as Fisher House San Diego, USO San Diego, Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center at SDSU, The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, Challenged Athletes Foundation – Operation Rebound, Elizabeth Hospice, Courage to Call, and Armed Services YMCA San Diego.
- Tickets for individual screenings start at $10. All access passes are $85. Military and veteran discounts apply. Festival organizers are also working with partner organizations to provide complimentary tickets to local military and their families.
- Visit http://www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org for details and to purchase tickets.
- Thursday, Sept. 15 – Screenings will be held at The Village Theatres in Coronado.
- Friday, Sept. 16 – The popular Family Movie Night features special preview screenings of the Warner Bros. animated adventure “Storks” at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center.
- Saturday, Sept. 17 – Screenings will be held throughout the day at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center.
- Sunday, Sept. 18 – The Local Film Showcase and other screenings will take place at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center starting at 1 p.m. The Closing Celebration and Awards
- Ceremony occurs that evening at 6 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley at Hazard Center.
The GI Film Festival San Diego is presented by Sullivan Solar Power. Additional festival sponsors are National City Mile of Cars, One Reverse Mortgage, San Diego Opera, Scatena Daniels Communications and GEICO Military with support provided by a grant from The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation. The festival is organized by KPBS in partnership with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego.