The GI Film Festival wraps up Saturday night with an awards show and will be available online through Memorial Day.
SAN DIEGO — The opening scenes of “American Hero” are chilling and graphic.
Writer and director, Manny McCord told CBS 8, “American Hero is about a veteran struggling with PTSD and throughout the film we see that it stems from the sexual assault she faced during her service.”
McCord based his story on someone very close to him. He edited his 15-minute short film on a micro budget.
“I couldn’t pay anyone, so everyone who came on board did me a favor, all super inspired to be a part of this story,” McCord said.
It’s one of dozens of films screened this week at the GI Film Festival at Balboa Park.
“Shell Shocked” also deals with post-traumatic stress. Paula Cajiao is a former US Marine nurse.
“It follows the story of a veteran who has been back for two years and suffers a battle injury from stuttering, so he finds, in desperation, a controversial drug that has been banned since World War II. world,” Cajiao said.
Both filmmakers hope to bring change through understanding. The GI Film Festival gives them a voice and more.
San Diego Film Consortium President and Founder Jodi Cilley said, “Not only do they get to watch their movies in front of an audience, which is terrifying and exhilarating, but it also shows how audiences respond; do they cry, do they laugh, do they applaud? they leave? You really don’t know until you see it in front of an audience.
The GI Film Festival ends on Saturday evening with an awards ceremony. The films will be available online at GIFilmFestivalSD.org; until Remembrance Day.
WATCH RELATED: Life aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during training off the coast of San Diego (May 2022)