5th Annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival Builds Bridges Between SF Bay Area’s Military and Civilian Populations

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5th Annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival on November 12th, 2016 (10am-5:30pm) and Sunday, November 13th, 2016 (12-4:30pm) at Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, Free

http://www.sfveteransfilmfestival.org/

5th Annual San Francisco Veteran Film Festival

“Bridging San Francisco’s civilian and military communities is the first step in building support for our veterans,” comments Eddie Ramirez, 2016 California Veteran of the Year, and founder of the SF Veterans Film Festival

OneVet OneVoice announces the 5th Annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival (SFVFF), spotlighting both veteran and civilian filmmakers addressing topics related to the military. The November 12-13, 2016 program, hosted by San Francisco Public Library’s Main Library in the Koret Auditorium, will be free to the public and offer films, panel discussions, presenters, and special events. The full program schedule will be updated online at SFVeteransfilmfestival.org as films are confirmed and finalized by Oct. 17.

“Bridging San Francisco’s civilian and military communities is the first step in building support for our veterans, reducing high suicide rates, and breaking down stigmas that hold back veterans from success.” comments Eddie Ramirez, 2016 California Veteran of the Year, and founder of the SF Veterans Film Festival as well as the sponsoring organization OneVet OneVoice. “The festival offers civilians the rare opportunity to get educated about the issues facing the OTHER 1%, which represents the 1% of the American population that serves in the United States active duty military forces.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that California has the largest population of veterans in the United States (1.9 million men and women of all ages), however, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process shut down many of the Bay Area bases so the active duty population dropped, along with the civilian population’s contact with the military. This year, the VA reports that 20 U.S. veterans commit suicide each day.

The 2016 SF Veterans Film Festival offers many opportunities for public education. It will showcase documentary and narrative films of all lengths that deal with a wide range of issues from veterans coming home with visible and invisible wounds to the challenges faced by women in war and combat. Films will also help illustrate how and why the numbers of people serving have shifted and reduced in number throughout American history.

In addition to the films, there will be special panel discussions with experts in post-traumatic stress (PTS), service dogs for PTS sufferers, women veterans, and representatives from San Francisco’s VA hospital.

“We are happy to feature veterans who are finding a creative outlet in film and, with their courage to share difficult stories, demonstrating the power of filmmaking to liberate their emotions while providing inspiration to others to share their stories and get help,” continues Ramirez.

This year’s expanded programming and reach is thanks to a generous grant from the California Arts Council, which also supports the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and the Veterans Mural Alley. Other supporters include San Francisco Public Library’s Veterans Resource Center, San Francisco VA Medical Center, Mama Art Cafe, The American Legion Post 505, and the Craig Newark Foundation.

About SFVFF and OneVet One Voice
The goal of the 5th Annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival is to support one of the key missions of OneVet OneVoice: to educate the general public about the current issues facing our veterans, and provide a place for veterans to learn more about current support available. It was founded in 2013 by the 2016 California Veteran of the Year Eduardo Ramirez MSGT, USAF (Ret), founder and CEO of OneVet OneVoice. Ramirez retired from the United States Air Force in 2003 after at 22-year career, which has been followed by work in the Department of Veterans Affairs, most recently as the Administrative Officer for Mental Health. He is also the founder of the San Francisco Veteran’s Town Hall Collaborative. A non-profit located in San Francisco, OneVet OneVoice is based on Ramirez’s belief that healthcare, education, housing and employees for veterans and military families should be inextricably linked together.

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Pamela Coddington
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