Kicking off with a celebratory Launch Party and Award Ceremony from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Mississippi Moon Bar (Diamond Jo Casino), the festival will showcase films and filmmakers from all over the world. Screen stars Kate Mulgrew ("Star Trek: Voyager") and Matthew Modine ("Full Metal Jacket," "Vision Quest") are special guests and the festival will screen some of their current film work. Tickets to attend the Launch Party are $10/pp and include free appetizers, cash bar and VIP seating.
Following the Launch Party, Kelly and Tammy Rundle's award-winning documentary Country School: One Room - One Nation will screen at 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 405 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa.
The Rundles will dedicate the screening of Country School to preservationist Richard Ganzer, who appears in the film and was a former country school student at North Bend Community Center. Ganzer was instrumental in helping to preserve the one-room schoolhouse located in Spragueville, Iowa. He died tragically in a tractor accident near his home.
"During his interview, Richard shared with us that he was a bit of a stinker as a young boy and spent quite a bit of time being punished by standing on his tip-toes with his nose pressed against the classroom chalkboard," filmmaker Tammy Rundle said.
His carved initials "RG" are still sharply visible in the school's wooden floor.
"Richard said he never dreamed that later in life he would care so much about saving the school. But he did. He joined forces with former-students, teachers and local preservationists, and volunteered his skills, time and effort to help make it the treasure it is today. The school draws people of all ages from all over to experience a bygone era of America's early educational system."
The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival runs Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22, 2012 in various venues in downtown Dubuque. The event also offers cinema exploration labs and seminars and filmmaker panel discussions. For more film festival information, screening schedule and to purchase tickets, visit: www.jiffd.com/
Country School: One Room - One Nation was partially funded with grants by Humanities Iowa, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.