Popular military-related films will return to the silver screen during the fourth annual Stars & Stripes Film Festival, Nov. 9–12, at Highland Park Village Theater.
The festival supports Sons of the Flag, a nonprofit that funds research, education, and treatment for severe burns.
A luncheon at noon Nov. 10 at the Dallas Country Club will feature Kris “Tonto” Paronto as keynote speaker. Tonto was one of six private military contractors who defended U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, during a terrorist attack in 2012. The attack is the subject of the movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which is based on the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.
Each film screening will conclude with a veteran or expert guest speaker who will detail what the events from the movie were really like. Speakers will include Green Beret veterans, a crew-member from a former top-secret research submarine, a military historian, and a film expert.
“It’s really not about the film — it’s about the speaker, it’s about the testimony, the ‘thank you’ for their service. We can learn from these veterans what transpired for real,” said Ryan Parrott, Sons of the Flag founder.
Films are free and open to the public based on seat availability. Visit starsandstripes.sonsoftheflag.org for sponsorships, reserved seating passes, and luncheon tickets.
“What better way to actually see a film — for them [the audience] to actually hear from someone who was there, boots on the ground, to learn what really transpired and what it’s really like,” Parrott said. “You know, what is the who, what, when, where, why, or the look, the feel, the sounds, the smells, the senses of everything … and really put context behind the message that was delivered in the movie.”
According to Parrott, the festival has raised an average of $150,000 each year.
“A lot of our friends, constituents, donors come from [the Park Cities] … and I think Highland Park [Village] is very, very generous. We’re extremely excited to partner with them and house our veterans.”