Something to do in Dubuque: Explore Film at JDIFF

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If you’re looking for something to do this week, Dubuque may have something special to offer you. Starting on April 26th is the annual Julien Dubuque Film Festival(JDIFF) in downtown Dubuque. It aims to be a celebration of film media of all types, including feature films, documentaries, and short films. The festival runs until April 29th, and features new events each day. The first day of the festival includes a screening celebrating the classic comedy sketches of Laurel and Hardy.

Day two features the premiere screening of the new film Supercon, about a rag-tag group of former TV stars and comic book artists who decide to get back at a crooked convention promoter in a clever heist.

On the third day of the festival is the award ceremony, in which the films featured in the festival are recognized in a variety of categories. The closing day of the festival includes a kids day, with children’s films, workshops, and attractions throughout the day.

Between these major events, there will be dozens of screenings of independant and local films at various locations downtown, including Five Flags, the Dubuque Museum of Art, and Phoenix Theaters. Many of these screenings will also have panels afterward with actors, directors, writers, and more to discuss the film and answer audience questions.

Among these films are documentaries that cover important topics, like Surviving Home, which aims to highlight the struggles veterans face when they return home.

Numerous short films are also being shown, like Send Us Smokes, about a girl delivering a care package to her father during World War 1, or the animated film Catherine, about a woman trying to find friendship (with someone other than her cat).

There are also dozens of full length films, such as Find Me, in which a man attempts to track down his mysterious coworker using clues left at National Parks throughout the country.

The festival isn’t just about film, however. Attractions at the festival also include a karaoke night, a 1970’s-style block party, live music, food and refreshments, and Q&As with prominent filmmakers.

So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to have your emotions stirred, your thoughts provoked, or your brain entertained, the Dubuque Film Festival may be the perfect weekend activity. It’s a chance to not only experience and support smaller films, but also learn more about film techniques. Plus, there’s finally something to do in Dubuque!

JDIFF runs from April 26 through April 29 in downtown. All films on Thursday are free, along with several other events throughout the festival.For more information on events, showtimes, and tickets, visit


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