Dubuque hosting international film festival this weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque hosting international film festival this weekend


Cinema fans will be flocking to downtown Dubuque this weekend for the first ever Julien Dubuque International Film Festival.

This four-day event runs Thursday through Sunday and will bring actors, directors and other people in the movie industry to the Key City.

Tuesday afternoon, within the walls of 401 Locust Street in Dubuque, business partners and film festival executive directors Michael Coty and Christopher Kulovitz were busy working on the final details of the event.

"We have 60 plus films. We have narratives, we have dramas, we have documentaries, we have shorts," Kulovitz said. "We've slotted some of the shorts to be either drama-based or comedic-based, so there's really something for everybody."

"Over the course of the weekend, we're hoping to sell probably about 2,000 tickets," Coty said. "It's not going to be 2,000 people, but we have plenty of screenings for everyone to see."

The scope is international. The festival's board chairman Brad Parks described the people coming to Dubuque for this weekend's film festival

"Our film festival's become really relevant. We have actors and filmmakers from Australia, Berlin, Israel flying in for major awards," he said, naming several of the countries that will be represented this weekend. "Very exciting."

Despite the global scope, the festival's focus is local. The majority of the screening venues, which include local bars, restaurants and hotels, are within a four-block stretch of Main Street in downtown Dubuque, between First and Fifth Streets.

"Let's create a cultural event that will be great for the city, but let's also bring some commerce in," Kulovitz said. "Let's drive participation from sponsors, from local businesses and get everyone engaged, because this way it's win-win."

The event's budget this inaugural year is $175,000, the executive directors said. They hope to see the festival grow in the future.

"I think people are going to be knocked out by the content of what they see," Kulovitz said. "I think people are going to be really, really excited that something like this is happening in their own community."

"It's fun, you have a great time, you see cool movies," Parks said. "It's very Tribeca, Sundanceish-esque, and you also get to do really neat stuff to get our community to have a higher status around the world."

Students from Loras College, University of Dubuque and Clarke University will be volunteering at the film festival. Some Loras College students even helped market the event through a class project.

"If you've never been to a major film festival where you've met filmmakers from around the world and had a great time with people of different languages and seen films that you maybe never would've seen -- horror, drama, comedy, documentary -- and learned why they're important and who made them, it can be a life-altering experience for a lot of people," Parks said.

Film festival tickets are on sale now.

Details, including screening venues, times and ticket information, are listed on the event's Website HERE.

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