PBS, KPBS partner with military-themed film festival for nationwide rollout

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WASHINGTON — PBS will help expand a film festival of military-themed content now based in San Diego and Washington, D.C., to public TV stations across the country, the network and partners announced at a National Press Club event Thursday.

The GI Film Festival has partnered with KPBS in San Diego since 2015. Next year, PBS stations elsewhere will also host festivals, each featuring national content alongside locally relevant independent productions. San Diego will hold the flagship festival, featuring awards and premieres.

“There might not be military bases in every community, but there are veterans in every community,” KPBS GM Tom Karlo said during the presentation and Q&A session. “I think it will really do well in the markets all around the country.”

KPBS will share a toolkit to help PBS member stations replicate the event in their communities, Karlo said. The cities for next year’s festivals have not been announced.

GIFF started in Washington, D.C., in 2007, co-founded by army veteran Laura Law-Millett and her husband, Brandon. The festival aims to preserve the stories of military veterans and their families through film, training, television and special events.

KPBS will hold its fourth GIFF Sept. 25–30.

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