Runde Exclusive Julien Film Festival Information!


It’s just around the corner, folks – the 2014 Julien Dubuque International Film Festival! Now in its third year, the festival has put Dubuque on the map as having one of the top notch film festivals around! We spoke with the Julien Film Festival’s Executive Director, Michael Coty, to see what’s new for the 2014 Festival and what we can expect from the rousing honorary chair, Abigail Breslin (from Sign’s, Little Miss Sunshine).

Michael Coty-  Executive Director of the Film Festival

Michael Coty-
Executive Director
of the Film Festival

Hello Michael, so what’s new for the festival for 2014?
We have a couple of new venues which include the Dubuque Museum of Art, the Stone Cliff Winery and the Dubuque River Museum which will be a dedicated venue this year. We are also using the entire Five Flags facility (including the theater) which is where all of our big anchor events will be taking place, such as the Silent Film with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra playing the films score. The other new things this year include the 25th anniversary screening of the Field of Dreams which will feature guests Brian Frankish, executive producer of the film, Dwier Brown, who played John Kinsella (Kevin Costner’s Character’s dad) in the film, and Sue Riedel, the film’s local casting coordinator.
How did you get Abigail Breslin to be the Honorary Chair of the festival?
We worked through our PR person out of Los Angeles. The big selling point for her is that the festival supports celebrity causes and Abigail has two causes that we will be promoting for her during the festival. The Cristian Rivera Foundation and Project Sunshine. The community will be able to donate to these causes and the festival will also be making a donation of about 10,000 per charity.

It was also appealing to her because she actually has a new single coming out. She writes music and sings and has done some performances in the past and the timing came out well to do a Midwest debut of her single. Details are still being worked out but it’s looking very promising that Dubuque will be the launch of the single.

Abigail Breslin- Honorary Chair

Abigail Breslin-
Honorary Chair

How many volunteers and staff are behind the scenes making the festival happen?
We have four people on our staff and a group of 16 dedicated board members. The week of the festival we’ll have about 120 volunteers helping out. We are always taking more volunteers as well if anyone is interested in helping out they can visit to fill out a volunteer form.

There are so many days and so many shifts and some people can only help for 3 or 6 hours so we have to have enough people to cover everything for the entire weekend. Last year we had between 80-100 volunteers. All the help the volunteers provide is very much appreciated. The festival couldn’t happen without them.

Do you have any figures of how many showed up to last year’s festival or an approximation of how many will attend this year’s festival?
The first year we had about 3,000 attend the festival and last year we had about 6,000. This year we are estimating 10-12 thousand people will attend.

Have you been seeing more of an interest from film makers out of the Tri-State or even out of the country take part in the festival?
We had a great deal of international films submitted to us this year. We have a woman coming all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to attend the festival. We also have films from China, Brazil, Columbia, La Grande, Chalunka and more films from all over the globe, it’s very spread out.

Do the people that make the films show up to the festival even if they are from such far away locations?
In each category we have three films that are nominated and the festival, as part of our commitment, we bring in one person per film that’s nominated, which translates to about 10-12 people. The rest of the film makers are sending people to the festival on their own. So we will have close to 50-60 film makers that are coming on their own. We even have someone flying in from New Zealand!

filmsAny films you can personally recommend to attend this year?
We have amazing films. We had over 200 films submitted to us and we have a selection of 50 documentaries and features as well as 50 shorts that will be screening. Green Card Warriors is a great film that has Vivica Fox and Manny Perez in it. Another great documentary is Ice Bound which has ties to Dubuque, IA. The films come from such a wide range and they will be competing to win the top prize in their category.

What are the prizes that they are competing for?
Last year we gave away $8,000 and this year there will be $32,000 to give out as prizes. The following categories get part of the prize pot: Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Short, Best Music in Film, Best of Iowa, then we have the Grand Jury prize which is our biggest prize awarding $10,000.

The idea behind the prizes is to be able to rise above some of the other festivals out there and give film makers an incentive to attend.

Be sure to pick up the TH this Friday (April 11th) for the Film Festival insert, which will have all the films listed. Ticketing for the general public will start next week (Monday, April 14th) and it will be $8.00 per ticket.

You can get tickets to all the big anchor events, such as the Field of Dreams Screening, The Opening Night, Silent Film and the Award Night events right now at

For more information check out

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