RANKED AS ONE OF THE TOP 50 FILM FESTIVALS WORTH THE SUBMISSION FEE BY MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE AND ONE OF THE TOP REVIEWED ON FilmFreeway, JDIFF is known for it's networking opportunities, best communication, quaint location, great programming, friendly staff & volunteers, inquisitive audience, multiple screening opportunities, workshops, panels, amazing events and parties and so much more! JDIFF is ALL about the independent filmmaker and truly geared for the best experience!

Dubuque, Iowa, located right alongside the Mississippi River, is a perfect place to host the festival. As quoted in Filmmaker Magazine "The festival is smartly situated downtown, with an assortment of handsome venues all within walking distance" from the Festival Headquarters, located in the grand HOTEL JULIEN, the same hotel where Al Capone used to hide out from the Chicago Feds.

Majority of events and venues are located on Main Street downtown Dubuque, allowing Filmmakers, Attendees and Special Guests to attend numerous screenings and events all within walking distance. We offer opportunities for radio, print and social media promotion, full shuttle service, home stay program and much more. We take care of our filmmakers and guests.

Our final nominees are judged by our Jury members of Film professionals, such as Directors, Producers, Critics, Director of Photography, etc and choose the final winner of each category.

JDIFF acknowledges emerging filmmakers from around the world and is committed to bringing world class entertainment to the heart of the midwest.

$ 4,000 Best Documentary
$ 4,000 Best Narrative Feature
$ 1,000 Best Short (3 - 20 min length)
$ 1,000 Best Short (21 - 49 min length)
The top 3 nominees in each of the above categories (Documentary, Feature, Short I, Short II) receive free travel and accommodations to attend the festival.
Nominees are announced 4 weeks before the festival and must be present to win.

Best of the Fest (Cash prize / no travel benefits)
Best Use of Music (Cash prize / no travel benefits)
Best Animated Short or Feature (Cash prize / no travel benefits)
Audience Choice (no travel benefits)
Honorable Mentions (2) (no travel benefits)
**All films qualify for the additional awards, unless already nominated for Best Documentary, Best Feature, Best Short I or Best Short 11**

WE PAY FOR THE TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE TOP 3 NOMINEES in the Feature, Documentary, Short I and Short II categories. *Some restrictions apply.

We award over $35,000 in cash and benefits.

SPECIAL NOTE: MUST BE AN IOWA PREMIERE. If not, you may contact the festival for special consideration.
1). All decisions of programmers and jurors are final. All entries will be viewed and given equal consideration.
3). We DO NOT pay for any screening fees for any film that was submitted for review.
4). All submitted materials must include the FilmFreeway tracking number and additional information as listed in the General Rules.
5). Press Kit materials as listed above will be sent only upon notification of Officially Selected. The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY of marketing and promotion if proper press kit materials are not sent after notification as deemed in the General Rules. It is the sole responsibility of the Filmmaker to send all materials listed.
6). Notification date is on or around March 01, 2022.
7). If selected as an Official Selection, projects are to be uploaded to the designated JDIFF Dropbox. One (1) screening copy must be sent on a DVD/Bluray or thumb-drive (thumb-drive preferred) as a backup
8). Exhibition copy of the film and marketing materials are to be sent per specs required once festival acceptance is announced. A letter will be sent to all those accepted with requirements and the date needed. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FILMMAKER TO SEND REQUIRED MATERIALS, PER SPECS SHEET, AT THE TIME GIVEN. IF FILMS AND MARKETING MATERIALS ARE NOT SENT IN TIME, JDIFF HAS THE RIGHT TO ELIMINATE THE FILM FROM THE FESTIVAL.
9). JDIFF reserves the right to select films from the entire pool of submissions.
10). Film may not have been completed before January 1, 2019.
11). JDIFF does consider works in progress, however prefers final projects in order for the best review and scoring possible.
12). All entered films grant the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival a non exclusive limited use agreement to use selected portions of films chosen for competition, and or use film promotional materials to promote the festival including the rights to utilize any excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at JDIFF for promotional purposes and/or on JDIFF's website. Filmmakers fully retain all rights, title and interest in their films and all intellectual Property.
13). JDIFF does not accept responsibility for damage or loss of materials. Please do not send us any original copies, master copies, the only copy you have, etc.
14). By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, you certify that you hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film and have read the regulations.
15). Dates and guidelines subject to change without prior notice.
16). JDIFF pays for the top 3 nominees to attend the festival in the Feature, Documentary, Short I and Short II categories. Nominee flights are booked 4 weeks in advance of festival. You will be given a deadline to send requested information to JDIFF for booking. If requested information is not received by deadline, you will need to book your own flight and JDIFF will reimburse you up to $400.00. If you choose to book your own flight, JDIFF will reimburse you up to $400.00 for domestic, $600.00 for International. Nominees must be in attendance to win.

Thank you and happy submitting!

Overall Rating
  • Shawn Harris

    Great festival! Very well organized and definitely recommended.

    October 2021
  • Scott Burkhardt

    Really wish I could have attended but their communication with filmmakers was excellent. Glad to see the slow return to in person happening. Thanks!

    July 2021
  • Prashant Thakker

    Thank you for including our short, The Woman Under The Tree in your 10th Anniversary line-up. Susan Gorrell is truly a wonderful organizer and her team keeps you in the loop from day one. We look forward to submitting future projects to this outstanding festival.

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Prashant! I'm so sorry you were unable to attend! We truly appreciate your kind words and look forward to seeing you at JDIFF in the near future!

  • Oh, we can't go to this edition due to the pandemic, but want to say thanks for noticing our film THE LAND BENEATH OUR FEET, also appreciate the communication and kindness of Mrs. Susan Gorrell and all the JDIFF that stood in touch with us. We look forward to attending future editions. Long live to JDIFF!!

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Reinel! We look forward to seeing you in the near future with another amazing project! Thank you for your kind words and review!

  • I cannot say enough positive things about working with the staff at JDIFF. They are so responsive, helpful, and personal. Susan and Amber were both such a pleasure to converse with. Although the festival was in person, they did a wonderful job of still including us filmmakers that could not attend. I cannot wait to attend JDFIFF in person in the future.

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Heather for your lovely review! I truly wish you could have attended in 2021, but hopefully you will be here in the near future!! I look forward to seeing more amazing work from you!