Military film festival opens tonight in La Jolla

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- They have some of the toughest jobs in America. Now, our military members and veterans are getting big screen recognition with a film festival of their own.

The GI Film Festival is the first of its kind in San Diego and will feature 35 films.

The films are all focused on military members or made by them.

Alexis Korycinski, who directed "The Haircut" said she was inspired by West Point's first class of female cadets.

"At that time in 1975-1976 It was a boys' club, they didn't want women at West Point," Korycinski said.

She talked to some of those original graduates, who had to have grit to get through.

"If they were walking and their hips were swaying they would call them out," she said. "They would call them a whore."

Jodi Cilly, who helped organize the film festval, has an older sister who served.

"The funny thing about my sister was that I was the tomboy, and she was the one who had to have the perfect hair and makeup on," Cilly explained. "She would hold me down and brush my hair."

Her sister's look changed when her hair was chopped in the service.

"Just the whole sort of manly look," Cilly said.

The two did not talk about it, so Cilly is eager to see "The Haircut".

"What I really learned was don't take no for an answer," the director said about the women of West Point. They inspired her film. Some have been angry, and then there are those women whose hearts have been touched by it.

"A female vet from the 80's came up to me, and she literally grabbed me in the ladies room and told me how much the film meant to her," Korycinski said.
 
The film being screened for opening night is Kilo Two Bravo, which critics hail as the British Hurt Locker.

The festival runs through Sunday, Oct. 18 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, and will include various film genres including dramas, documentaries, shorts and personal narratives.
 
Tickets start at $10 and there are discounts for the military. You can purchase them here.
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