I'm extremely excited to head over to the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (JDIFF) this weekend. Since arriving in the area, it's been one of the events I've had on my calendar. Movies are one of my biggest loves in the world and to see a host of premieres in a grand auditorium is a beautiful experience for everyone.

In honor of JDIFF, which kicked off on Wednesday, and to continue my spotlight on the festival from earlier this week, I thought it be fun to turn the attention on some films that will be playing at the festival throughout the weekend.

I'll briefly describe the film, where/when it's playing, and a link to the schedule for more information on the film itself. Let it be known, however, this is a mere sampling of the many movies, documentaries, and shorts that will be gracing several big screens throughout downtown Dubuque this weekend!

Cat Daddies (documentary):

Showtime: Five Flags Center (Bijou Room); Saturday, April 23rd at 3 pm.

I'm starting with Cat Daddies because it is the film I'm most looking forward to. The documentary revolves around a man named David Giovanni, who is living on the streets yet is determined to do so with his beloved cat, Lucky. The pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis, however, puts his future with his beloved cat in doubt, even after he finds a transitional housing facility that accepts cats. In addition to David's journey, the film shines light on other "cat dads:" firefighters, a stuntmen, a tech worker, and more who all look to their cats as their ultimate companion.

As a single father of two cats, I cannot wait to see this. And probably cry.

You can find more information on Cat Daddies here.

Against All Odds: Surviving the Holocaust (documentary):

Showtime: Five Flags Center (Majestic Room); Saturday, April 23 at 12 pm.

There continue to be so many stories and documentaries about the Holocaust because it was such a massive time in history. So many people's stories have yet to be told. Against All Odds looks to do just that in detailing additional stories of heroism, bravery, and sheer luck that took place outside of the concentration camps. The film will focus on four survivors.

You can find more information on Against All Odds here.

Him + Her (romance):

Showtime: Hotel Julien Dubuque (Ballroom); Saturday, April 23 at 4 pm:

The year is 1989, long before cell-phones all but replaced landlines. Back when crossed phonelines were a thing and your call could get intercepted by an unknown party on accident. Him + Her revolves around a life-changing conversation had between two strangers whose phonelines happen to cross.

I don't know about you, but for me, all I need to know about a movie is maybe two sentences of plot before I'm sold. Him + Her looks low-key and thought-provoking.

You can find more information on Him + Her here.

Jack (comedy):

Showtime: Five Flags Center (Majestic Room); Saturday, April 23rd at 9 pm.

Billed as a "Superbad-style comedy," Jack follows Charlie, who is in search of true love. He's aided by the advice of his dysfunctional friend group, who try to help him once he meets a Canadian transfer student named Barbie Le.

Jack is a film from the United Kingdom. From the premise alone, you can see its potential as both a raunchy comedy and one with some serious heart about growing up and trying to find your soulmate.

You can find more information on Jack here.

Relative (comedy):

Showtime: Five Flags Center (Majestic Room); Sunday, April 24th at 1:30 pm.

Relative revolves around a retirement-age couple who have lived in Chicago for 40 years. As all promising comedy-dramas start, things come to a head when their children come home for a weekend celebration. Feathers are further ruffled when the prospect of selling their family home is brought to the table, putting an even greater strain on their bonds.

On premise alone, Relative reminds me a bit of the Oscar-nominated movie August Osage: County, which was based on the play of the same name and starred Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and various others.

You can find more information on Relative here.

Short Films:

Showtimes: Short films shown in blocks vary in times and locations.

In addition to feature-length films and documentaries, JDIFF showcases a plethora of short films in two-hour blocks. On their interactive schedule, you can explore different blocks to see what short films are being shown on a given day.

I can't wait to report back on the films I watch this weekend!

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