Chicago's Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival is the second oldest gay film festival in the U.S. It's better known as the Reeling film festival. On Veterans Day, festival-goers will be seeing a mini gay-themed military festival.

Included films are Seeds of Summer, Dog Tags and Ask Not.

In writer/director Damion Dietz's Dog Tags, straight-arrow Marine Nate and free-spirited Andy begin a friendship in Palm Springs. The unlikely pair bond over fatherhood issues – Andy is a father and Nate was abandoned by his. As their friendship deepens, they unexpectedly begin a physical relationship.

Marketing for the movie says the film is an exploration of the “broken lives of two seemingly very different people, challenging in the most provocative and daring way any notion of conventional 'gay' relationships.”

Seeds of Summer documents the lives of fresh recruits in the Israeli army through the eyes of openly lesbian director Hen Lasker. During the course of 66 days and nights, Lasker captures intimately the challenges faced by female trainees in the army.

Also included in our mini gay-themed military festival homage to Veterans Day is an intriguing new documentary on the military's ban on gays serving openly. The policy, titled Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was conceived as a compromise by the Clinton administration in 1993. Since then, 12,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender soldiers have been discharged under the policy. The issue is currently a hot topic as a recent federal court ruled the Armed Forces could only discharge soldiers determined to be detrimental to the group's mission. That is, a blanket statement that being gay is inconsistent with military cohesion and therefore a gay soldier must be detrimental to the group's mission and troop morale is unacceptable. This decision could mark the beginning of the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The film, Ask Not by director Johnny Symons, focuses its lens on the true national and human costs of the military's ban on gays & lesbians.

Ask Not delivers compelling reasons on the failure of the policy – a group of young gays attempt to enlist openly, interviews with veterans expose hidden flaws, and a video diary from a closeted soldier as he heads off to Iraq vividly unmasks the pain of the policy – making it a must-see film.

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On the Net: The Reeling film festival website is at