Alexandria to Host GI Film Festival

Sinise, Arquette set to honor troops.

Gary Sinise, David Arquette and Adam Driver are just three of the celebrities who will be in attendance as the GI Film Festival heads to Alexandria May 19-25.

Known as “Sundance for the Troops,” the seven-day festival will open May 19 at the Old Town Theater with the world premiere of the Civil War epic “Field of Lost Shoes.” Starring Virginia native David Arquette, the feature film tells the true story of 274 Virginia Military Institute cadets who are forced to join the war before their time during the Battle of Newmarket.

"There is no question this is the most power-packed, emotionally compelling film line-up we've ever showcased,” said Alexandria resident and GI Film Festival president Brandon Millett. “These films will shock you. They will move you. They will entertain you. And I guarantee you will come away with a greater understanding of the experiences of military veterans of all generations and their families."

The award-winning festival will include several celebrity receptions and features a line-up of 56 films that covers every aspect of military triumph and struggle from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other highlights of the festival include an advanced screening of the Sony/Affirm Films feature “When the Game Stands Tall” (May 22), the premiere of the documentary “The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War” (May 23), and the East Coast premiere of the dramatic feature “Fort Bliss” (May 25) starring Michelle Monaghan and Ron Livingston.

"Fort Bliss is one of the most powerful films that I have seen that truly captures the additional struggles that women in the military face today,” said festival co-founder Laura Law-Millett, herself a veteran and mother. “Having to choose between her family and her profession is the toughest decision a woman can be forced to make. This film is a must-see for every woman who serves and for everyone who has loved a woman who served."

With a theme of “Secrets and Spies,” the opening night gala will be held May 19 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center with Arquette as special guest. Sinise, known for his role as Lt. Dan in the Academy Award-winning film “Forrest Gump,” will be in attendance at the May 23 Salute to Hollywood Patriots at the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

On May 24, U.S. Marine and actor Adam Driver will be on hand for screenings of short films profiling heroes of World War II and Korea followed by the Best of Festival awards and a special tribute to NBC Universal’s film “Lone Survivor.”

The festival will close May 25 with Monaghan and Livingston set to attend the world premiere of “Fort Bliss.”

For a full schedule of events, visit