Film Festival’s Lone Survivor Tribute Day on Nov. 12 (Tickets Available)


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Marcus Luttrell, Two Seal 5 Teammates to be Special Guests

On Saturday Nov. 12 – Veteran’s Day weekend – the Coronado Island Film Festival is planning a full day tribute to Coronado’s SEAL community, with a special showing of the Academy Award-nominated film “Lone Survivor.” The day will include a pre-screening reception at the Hotel del Coronado with the real Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell, who wrote the book, “Lone Survivor” upon which the movie is based and is portrayed in the film by actor Mark Wahlberg.

Marcus Luttrell
Marcus Luttrell

It also includes a 1 p.m. panel discussion and luncheon with Luttrell, two of his former SEAL Team 5 members, Ray Mendoza and Mark Semos. Both Mendoza and Semos, at Luttrell’s request, served as technical advisors on the film and will also attend the 7:30 p.m. showing of the film at Village Theatre. RAdm Garry Bonelli, (USN-Ret) also a former SEAL, will round out the panel.

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In the filming of Lone Survivor, Mendoza and Semos served as “trainers” in which they helped all actors understand the SEAL culture, as well as functioned as stunt men in the film. Mendoza now works full time with Peter Berg, who directed Lone Survivor as well as the recently released Deepwater Horizon, and Semos works as an actor and stunt man. Both live in Los Angeles.

The evening will conclude with a post-screening champagne and dessert reception directly across the street from Village Theatre, at Coronado Private Bank.

Lone Survivor recounts, step-by-step, the ill-fated “Operation Red Wings” reconnaissance mission where four Navy SEALs were dropped into the rugged Afghanistan mountain terrain to capture a Taliban leader. They were discovered by the enemy and hugely outnumbered in the bloody gunfight that followed. A helicopter attempting to rescue the four was shot down by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 aboard, including eight SEALs, resulting in one of the worst losses in Navy SEAL history. Luttrell continues to be haunted by that loss.

“Anyone who understands the bond of the Navy SEAL brotherhood will understand what Marcus means when he says that part of him died in those mountains of Afghanistan,” said Doug St. Denis, CIFF’s executive director and founder.

According to Luttrell, the Navy encouraged him to write the memoir, and when Hollywood decided to make the film, Luttrell and his commander wanted it done right. With Luttrell as a close consultant to Berg, the story gets told with respect for the troops and an understanding of the special relationship SEALs share with one another. Several weeks prior to the start of filming, Luttrell and several former SEALs serving as technical advisors, subjected the actors to some rigorous military-style training, “bringing the hammer down” when the actors got sloppy.

Lone Survivor event passes are available for purchase through the Coronado Island Film Festival website, coronadoislandfilmfest.com. The event is a fundraiser for the festival, which is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 corporation. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation, RADM (ret) Garry Bonelli, Chairman, and the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded by Luttrell.

VIP Crown City Pass $135 (only 100 available)

  • Private, pre-screening Celebrity Reception from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. hosted by the festival’s Presenting Sponsor, Hotel del Coronado, including specialty hors d’oeuvres and libations.
  • Panel discussion with Luttrell, Mendoza and Semos and RAdm Garry Bonelli (USN – Ret) on the making of the film at Village Hall in the Coronado Village Elementary School (corner of 6th and H, entrance on H). A box lunch will be provided, courtesy of McP’s Pub, “the home of the SEALs.” (McP’s Box Lunch service will begin at 12:30; Panel Discussion will start promptly at 1:30.)
  • Priority seating at the Village Theatre 7:30 p.m. screening of “Lone Survivor”
  • Champagne and dessert post-screening after party at Coronado Private Bank, across the street from the theatre.

Ocean View Pass $75 (only 100 available)

This pass includes:

  • Panel discussion with Luttrell, Mendoza and Semos and RAdm Garry Bonelli (USN – Ret) on the making of the film at Village Hall in the Coronado Village Elementary School (corner of 6th and H, entrance on H). A box lunch will be provided, courtesy of McP’s Pub, “the home of the SEALs.” (McP’s Box Lunch service will begin at 12:30; Panel Discussion will start promptly at 1:30.)
  • Priority seating at the Village Theatre 7:30 p.m. screening of “Lone Survivor”
  • Champagne and dessert post-screening after party at Coronado Private Bank, across the street from the theatre.

The event is part of a weekend-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of the UDT/Navy SEAL presence in Coronado, following Friday’s dedication of the statue, “Naked Warrior,” donated to the city of Coronado by the Navy SEAL Foundation Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla. The Coronado Public Library also has a special display in its Exhibits Hall on the history of the UDT/SEALs, which can be conveniently viewed directly before or after the panel discussion at the library.

Lone Survivor event passes are available for purchase through the Coronado Island Film Festival website, coronadoislandfilmfest.com.

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