Pentagon channel introduces movie
night to programming
|By Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pentagon Channel has teamed up with the annual GI
Film Festival to produce a movie night for its viewers in a two-hour
block of feature and short films each week, Scott Howe, the channel’s
operations manager, announced.
“This is different than anything you’ve ever seen on the Pentagon
Channel before,” Howe said. “We have had individual documentary feature
films, historical docudramas combining old footage with recreations, but
we’ve never had narrative drama with scripts and actors with a blend of
drama and news.”
The Pentagon Channel traditionally airs news, news conferences,
congressional hearings and a variety of shows, including military
sporting events, for servicemembers, Family members and veterans, and is
viewed in 30 million homes across the nation, Howe said.
The channel also is available on every military installation around the
world, he added, and is online at
The Pentagon Channel is broadcast on channel 7 on the Fort McCoy cable
The GI Film Festival is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated
to sharing the military experience in and out of the arena of war.
According to its website, it’s the first film festival in the nation to
exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of servicemembers
through the film medium.
The movie night will comprise “the whole gamut of different kinds of
(military) films,” Howe said, adding that they’re obtained from a
collection of films screened in past years at the annual GI Film
Festival. The independent features, documentaries and film shorts are
not Defense Department produced, but rather originate from individuals
who produced and directed their own films, Howe explained.
Servicemembers, veterans and people who were embedded in a war zone to
capture a story created the films, he said.
The films’ content is drawn from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam,
Korea, and also includes re-enactments from the Civil War, he said.
Several of the productions deal with post-traumatic stress and traumatic
brain injury, two of the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and
“These emotional issues, in a generalized way, are a widespread thing,”
Howe said. “Real firefights, improvised explosive device (explosions)
and recreations of real instances run the gamut of the films.”
Howe said he came up with the idea to obtain the rights to previously
screened films and run them on the Pentagon Channel when the 2010 GI
Film Festival was here.
“We’re always looking for somebody’s experience in the military, after
the military, and viewpoints on the military that might be new and
interesting. ... All films exalt military service in an independent
manner. They’re not sugar-coated,” he said.
The Pentagon Channel will begin with about 22 hours of movie
programming, with more films to follow from the GI Film Festival, Howe