The GI Film Festival San Diego aims to reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of service members and veterans through compelling and authentic storytelling.

Documentaries, shorts, narratives, features and family-friendly films are presented, highlighting stories of heroism, resilience, and honor.

The 2019 festival takes place September 24-29, 2019 at select venues in central San Diego and includes the Local Film Showcase, which features San Diego’s filmmakers, events, people, or places.

Highlights of the festival include post-screening discussions with filmmakers, actors and documentary subjects; a family movie night which brings military-connected and civilian families together for an evening of movie magic and community spirit; an opening night reception; and an awards celebration honoring the filmmakers, actors and film subjects.

Submissions are open to filmmakers of every experience level from first-timers to veteran directors and producers. Short or feature length film submissions from any filmmaker who serves, or has served, in the U.S. Military are welcome, regardless of whether or not the film submission is military-themed.

Official submissions are eligible for awards in numerous categories, including (but not limited to) Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Narrative Short- Local Film Showcase, Best Documentary Short, Best Documentary Short- Local Film Showcase, Best Student Film, Best Student Film- Local Film Showcase, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best First Time Filmmaker, Local Choice Award, and Best Film Made by or Starring Veterans or Military.

TENTATIVE AWARD CATEGORIES
Student Awards:
Best Narrative Short
Best Narrative Short- Local Film Showcase
Best Documentary Short
Best Documentary Short- Local Film Showcase

Professional/Independent Awards:
Best Narrative Short
Best Narrative Short- Local Film Showcase
Best Documentary Short
Best Documentary Short- Local Film Showcase
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Feature- Local Film Showcase
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Feature- Local Film Showcase

Other Possible Awards:
Local Choice (Only films where at least 60% of the cast, crew and locations have been sourced from San Diego County or Imperial County are eligible)
Best Film Made by or Starring Veterans or Military
Best Film Made by or Starring Veterans or Military- Local Film Showcase
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best First Time Filmmaker

GI FILM FESTIVAL SAN DIEGO REQUIREMENTS
To be selected for the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego, films must have been completed and released after July 12, 2014 and meet at least one of the following criteria:
1. A storyline or narrative arc that is about the military experience- past or current day- USA or international- in war or back home after service.
2. A film of any genre, military-themed or not, featuring above the line talent who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. military. Above the line talent includes: director, writer, producer, and/or principal actor/actress.

LOCAL FILM SHOWCASE REQUIREMENTS
To be selected for the 2019 GI Film Festival San Diego’s Local Film Showcase, films must have been completed and released after July 12, 2014 and meet at least one of the following criteria:
1. A storyline or narrative arc that is about the military experience within San Diego County or Imperial County.
2. A military-themed film that is made by individual(s) who reside in San Diego County or Imperial County.
3. A military-themed film that features more than 60% of cast and crew from San Diego County or Imperial County.
4. A military-themed film that was shot or edited within San Diego County or Imperial County.
5. A film of any genre featuring above the line talent who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. military. Local filmmaker should reside in San Diego County or Imperial County. Above the line talent includes: director, writer, producer, and/or principal actor/actress.

To be considered for the Local Choice Award, the film must have at least 60% of the cast, crew and locations sourced from San Diego County or Imperial County.

FILM CATEGORIES
Student:
Narrative Short (under 60 minutes)
Documentary Short (under 60 minutes)

Professional/Independent:
Narrative Short (under 60 minutes)
Documentary Short (under 60 minutes)
Narrative Feature (60 minutes and over)
Documentary Feature (60 minutes and over)

REGIONS
USA, International, San Diego County, Imperial County

DEADLINES AND FEES
February 28, 2019: Submissions open
April 1, 2019: Early Bird Deadline ($35 fee, Students $20)
April 30, 2019: General Deadline ($45 fee, Students $30)
May 20, 2019: Late Submission Deadline ($55 fee, Students $40)

JUDGING AND SELECTION PROCESS:
Judging Round One
The first round of judging consist of a technical review of the submissions. A volunteer group of industry professionals judge the films on their general Story/Plot, Production Value, and Sound Quality. Each criterion will be judged on a scale of 1-10. Top scoring films will move to round two.

Judging Round Two
Round two consists of a panel of festival advisers who will watch the films, score them, and recommend for awards. Highest scoring films will be selected by KPBS for screening.

Judging Round Three
Judges designated by KPBS will select the winners in each award category.


GENERAL RULES
Competition is open to U.S. and international entries. There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Each film must be submitted separately with submission fee paid. All submission fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. All submissions must have been completed and released after July 12, 2014.

FILM/VIDEO ENTRIES
Entries must be submitted via online link for pre-screening. Please make sure to include the password if password protected and make downloadable.

If selected for the festival, filmmakers will be required to provide a DCP file and an Apple Pro-Res 422, 1080p digital version of the film (or highest resolution available). Send entries in sturdy, reusable containers or bubble wrap envelopes with return shipping information. DCPs and Drives provided will be returned after the festival run.

LIABILITY
Although every possible care will be taken with tapes and films while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send original prints or tapes. The festival reserves the right to pull any film from competition and screening for any reason whatsoever without incurring liability.

REPRODUCTION AGREEMENT
Submission of an entry gives the festival permission to have accepted work photographed, locally presented, and reproduced, either in part or whole, for publicity purposes, unless otherwise requested in writing by the filmmaker. If selected, a signed release from the filmmaker will be required.

Please submit the following with your festival entry:
* Entry fee via online payment system.
* Online link for pre-screening. Please make sure to include the password if password protected and/or make downloadable.

To help the festival promote your film and drive attendance, please submit the following upon acceptance:
* A signed filmmaker release
* Digital public link to film trailer via YouTube or Vimeo, for example, for posting on festival website (not required)
* Downloadable digital file of film trailer with unmixed split-track audio for clips to be used in festival promotion (not required)
* High-res digital production photos/JPEG stills/images from film for program guide
* Filmmaker bio
* Filmmaker headshot (JPEG)
* Any promotional materials (eg, electronic press kit) available for your film, including, but not limited to, endorsement quotes/reviews, press clippings, etc.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Amazing festival. Venue was great and the staff were great about communication throughout the entire process. I would say a must do for any project in the GI space.

    October 2018