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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Party Like a Movie Star

Most swanky D.C. events tend to wrap up before midnight — but when you are hanging out with celebs such as Wilmer Valderrama, that’s when things just get started.

Lanmark Technology President and CEO Lani Hay joined Blue Star Families and the Creative Coalition on Monday evening to sponsor a screening of the film “The Dry Land” at the Naval Heritage Center. And following the screening, Hay toasted the filmmakers and cast, including Valderrama and actress America Ferrera, with a formal dinner at her home in the Palisades.

While the party went late into the night, the VIPs on hand were in a serious mood, focused on promoting the film, which follows a soldier as he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder after he returns from serving in Iraq.

Director Ryan Piers Williams was inspired to make the movie after he read a newspaper article about a soldier who suffered from PTSD. He spent years researching the movie, he told HOH, meeting with soldiers and their families.

Williams hopes the film, which premieres in D.C. in August, is well received by the Washington community. He met Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and found him to be “incredibly supportive” of the project, Williams told HOH.

The mood wasn’t entirely serious, as Valderrama provided a few laughs during a question-and-answer session after the screening. The actor talked about his service with the USO, calling it “some of the most important, some of the most exciting things I’ve done.”

Valderrama added that he tries to make frequent trips abroad to visit the guys in uniform — “and the girls, of course.”

That led to a response from Hay, a former Navy service member.

“Wilmer, I guarantee the women service members are happier than the guys,” Hay said. “So thank you for your visit.”

“It’s my pleasure,” Valderrama replied.

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