G.I. Film Festival: Interview with Festival Co-Founder Branson Millett

Ed. Note: Just a note of thanks from everyone in the BIG family to Dan for his superb coverage of this invaluable festival.

In five short years G. I. Film Festival co-founder Brandon Millett, with his wife and fellow founder Major Laura Law-Millett have made Hollywood stand up and start to take notice of positive portrayals of America’s military men and women. “Gary Sinise was our first major Hollywood figure to support the festival. He was fresh off a plane from Iraq when he attended the first festival and I’ll never forget how gracious he was with all of our guests.”

Millett tells me appreciatively. “He was a big part of our success. Since then we’ve not only attracted top actors from Hollywood but directors, producers and studio executives. Two years ago we were contacted by both MGM and HBO to partner on several film screenings.”

Besides Gary Sinise’s annual appearance, he will host the Festival’s Congressional Reception, actors William Devane, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gigi Ernetta will also be in attendance. Jonathan English, the English director of Ironclad, this year’s featured $25 million military epic, will take part in a Q & A during Friday’s day long Film Maker Boot Camp hosted by Festival Chairman Steve Bannon. The film also stars outstanding characters actors Paul Giamatti, Brian Cox and Derek Jacobi along with James Purefoy and Kate Mara. Ironclad is a historical action piece that takes place in the bloody aftermath of the signing of England’s ground breaking Magna Carta, that first granted rights to common Englishman. Think an English version of the Alamo.

Brandon Millett can’t say enough about former Naval officer Steve Bannon’s considerable help with the G. I. Film Festival over the last four years. “Because of Steve Bannon’s military background as well as being an award winning filmmaker and an expert in film finance and distribution, he really understands the quality and character of our men and women in uniform.”

Millet can tell that the festival is having positive influence. “Two years ago we had a top Hollywood producer attend the festival. After meeting wounded guys from Walter Reed at one of our events he called me the next day to tell us that he and his wife were up all night thinking about how they could help wounded warriors.”

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