Julien Dubuque International Film Festival to hold its tenth annual event

The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival plans to hold its tenth annual event in person, following all local and county recommended COVID-19 procedures, as well as taking additional precautions.

“We are thrilled to be able to watch film together again,” said Susan Gorrell, executive director of the festival. “Of course things will be a bit different this year, but there’s something about the group experience of watching a movie that makes the festival experience special.”

Masks will be required in JDIFF events and screenings, and the festival will be following COVID-19 protocol outlined by its Covid Compliance Officer. Details regarding the festival’s COVID-19 procedures are posted at JulienFilmFest.com.

This is first time JDIFF, whose title sponsors include the Telegraph Herald and Runde Auto Group, has spanned eight days. The extension will allow plenty of time to screen both 2020 and 2021 Official Selections.

“Since we didn’t have an in-person event last year, we felt it was very important to still showcase those films with their own in-person screenings,” Gorrell said. “That is why filmmakers submit to festivals, to get eyes on their film and to gauge audience reactions.”

The official schedule, list of films, and trailers will be released the week of April 1 at JulienFilmFest.com. There will be limited screenings and seating all week as part of the festival’s COVID prevention strategy, so it is recommended that festival-goers purchase their tickets early.

General film tickets are $10 each and will be available to purchase online and to pick up at the festival box office at Hotel Julien Dubuque. There are also three-day, five-day, and eight-day all-access passes available.

Another new component for this year is seating pass holders last so ticket holders can be seated first in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. It is suggested that pass holders pick up tickets at the box office ahead of time (tickets are free for pass holders) in order to reserve a seat.

Panels and workshops will be announced in April.

Here’s the schedule at-a-glance:

Friday & Saturday, April 16-17: Film pre-screenings will be held in Galena in partnership with Galena County Tourism. All times and details will be posted at julienfilmfest.com.

Sunday, April 18 to Tuesday, April 25: Film screenings all day. Other events will be announced.

Wednesday, April 21: Wednesday is the Five Flags Welcome Mingle, an opportunity to meet and greet with filmmakers and festival goers and to plan your movie-watching schedule, sponsored by Five Flags Center. It is also Celebrate Canada Night, which will feature a to-be-announced Canadian film in partnership with the Canadian Consulate.

Thursday, April 22: Thursday is Runde Free Day. All regular film screenings are free, courtesy of title sponsor Runde Auto Group.

“It’s about making the festival accessible to everyone and making sure they understand that this is intended to create a community conversation and this is a way to do it and experience it without any cost,” said Tim Runde, past president of the film festival board and representative of title sponsor Runde Auto Group. “We don’t want there to be economic barriers to the festival. It’s for everyone.”

Thursday is also International Night. The festival will screen the 1-hour 44 minute feature film The Cave, which follows the story of a Thai youth football team trapped in a cave while rescue workers scramble to save them. Director Tom Waller will be in attendance.

Friday, April 23: Friday will feature the World Premiere of Saving Paradise, a family friendly drama based on a true story. If follows a ruthless corporate raider on the verge of making partner at his private equity firm, when he suddenly inherits his father’s nearly bankrupt pencil factory and is forced to return to his small-town roots. With a foreclosure deadline looming, he must decide to either let it close or join the community’s fight to save it. Director Jay Silverman will be in attendance.

The screening will be followed by the festival’s free Block Party, during which Main Street from Second to Third streets is closed down for bands, dancing, and outdoor seating at the Hotel Julien Dubuque.

The featured entertainment will be Tylor Brandon, an up-and-coming country band from New Mexico.

Saturday, April 24: The Awards Night and After-Party will be held on Saturday night. There will be limited seating and attendance.

Sunday, April 25: The festival will show a closing film in partnership with the Dubuque Community Foundation with appetizers served beforehand. While it is a free event, there will be limited seating and attendance, so a ticket will be required.

Voted one of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine, the tenth annual Julien Dubuque International Film Festival is set for April 18-25, in downtown Dubuque.

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