by Dan McCarthy
“Film festivals like ours are all about the independent filmmaker, giving them a chance to show their films in competition with other productions, but also making them feel respected and honored for their work,” says Susan Gorrell, executive director of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. “They are a unique breed. Because of their limited budgets they have to make the movie, then try to sell that film to distributors. They may be funded by family members, friends, or employers who believe in their work, and many would consider breaking even a success.
As film festivals go, Dubuque’s relatively young event has made quite a splash in the independent film world. It was recognized by MovieMaker magazine in 2013 as one of the top 25 coolest film festivals, and in 2016 voted as one of the top 50 worth the price of an admission fee. Filmmakers feel welcome in the friendly heart of the Midwest as evidenced by the rise in film festival entries – nearly 700 this year, of which only 100 will actually make it on screen during the event.
To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, purchase the March 2017 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands.