Movie stars in Dubuque show growth of film festival - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Movie stars in Dubuque show growth of film festival

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April will be the third year for the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. Each year, the festival draws thousands of film enthusiasts to Dubuque. Organizers of the festival say the festival is a perfect place for people to see a variety of different films from around the world. In its first year, the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival showed more than 70 films.

Michael Coty is the executive director of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. He says since that first year, organizers have been trying to bring that number down.

"We tried to bring it down in our second year," Coty said. "Our third year our goal is to really bring it down to about 50 super quality films. We want to show those three or four times. In feedback that we got from people, people said they did not have enough time to see all the films."

Although organizers of the festival are trying to bring the number of films down, the festival continues to grow. Last year, the festival attracted more than 4,00 people to Dubuque.

Susan Gorrell is the senior manager of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival.

"In three years, it's pushed tremendously and not just a regional thing, it's a national aspect of people actually talking about it and why they want to come," Gorrell said. "That's the whole push. It takes a lot of marketing dollars to do that, a lot of support from the community and it's happening."

Gorrell says in the coming years she expects even more people to attend the festival.

"I would love this festival to be on the same level as Sundance Film Festival, but be an independent for the independent film makers and a great place to come," Gorrell said. "People have come here and love the people, love the event, love the venues, and love downtown. I think that's really important."

Saturday evening, organizers with the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival hosted a special red carpet screening of the movie "Ender's Game" at Dubuque's AMC Theaters. The screening featured actors Khylin Rhambo and Aramis Knight walking the red carpet along with others from behind the scenes in the movie. The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival will be taking place on April 24-27, 2014.

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