The Julien Film Festival in Dubuque will begin its annual winter film series tonight, Thursday January 19th with a showing of the film "JustUs" at the Hotel Julien Dubuque.

“JustUs,” a 50-minute documentary, shares stories of former prisoners reentering society. The film focusses on their successful reentry into society. "JustUs" highlights the grassroots efforts of prisoners, ex-prisoners and activists in reforming the criminal justice system and ending the racial disparity in sending African-Americans to prison. It began as a pitch that prisoner Cedric B. Theus typed up and mailed to his friend and then-student-activist, Maya Ben-Shahar. Cedric and Maya had first corresponded through a pen pal program, and after several years of writing, emailing and calling, they had developed deep respect for one another’s voices. The film also looks at former prisoners unique bonds with people still left on the inside.

Credit: JDIFF
Credit: JDIFF

Join JDIFF after the screening for a Q&A session with film producer and director Maya Ben-Shahar. Each month through March another film will be presented at the Hotel Julien Dubuque. The winter film series includes a screening of a cause-related film and a Q&A session.

Other screenings during the Winter Film Series include:

  • A DECENT HOME; Thursday, February 23rd from 7 to 9pm

  • ROBERTS VILLAGE & ACROSS; Thursday, March 23rd from 7 to 9pm

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More details on these upcoming screenings will be available at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival calendar of events, which can be found here. In addition, the 12th annual film festival will be in April, but the winter series is a great way to showcase films from last year’s festival and have continued conversations within the community.

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