Silver Screen: Big Muddy Film Festival 33
The thirty-third annual Big Muddy Film Festival, with more than five-dozen films on its schedule, kicks off Friday, February 18 and continues through Sunday, February 27 throughout Southern Illinois.
An SIU tradition that began as a two-day celebration in 1979, the Big Muddy Film Festival is one of the oldest university-affiliated film festivals in the United States, and has since grown into a ten-day event that attracts competition submissions and film enthusiasts from around the globe.
Organizers narrowed down more than two-hundred submissions from twenty-four nations into the sixty-six films that critics will judge.
With more than $4,000 in prizes awarded every year, the festival honors the best films produced in the experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation categories. A special overall focus this year falls on women filmmakers, whose work accounts for more than forty percent of this year's competition films.
In addition to the competition entries, two films will celebrate Black History Month, and a showcase will feature SIU faculty.
"The festival has an international reputation," Michele Torre, an SIU cinema and photography professor and the festival's faculty advisor, says in a press release. "It's really well known outside of Carbondale and Illinois, and I think that is important to remember. It is one of the things that separates this university from a lot of the other universities as far as being a great place for students to come to film school."
This year's lineup of competition films will be judged by filmmakers Shanti Thakur, Kerry Laitala, and Joshua Jones, all of whom will showcase their own work in festival screenings. In addition to the film screenings, festival enthusiasts may attend lectures and workshops held by the festival judges.
The ten-day celebration culminates in the annual Best of the Fest, held February 27 at 7 p.m. at the historic Liberty Theater in Murphysboro.
Tickets for films are just $4 for the general public and $2 for students for most individual screenings, with a festival pass to all showings for $50 for the general public and $20 for students with valid identification.
For more information, including showtimes, log on to <http://BigMuddyFilm.com>.
who: Film Alternatives
what: Big Muddy Film Festival
where: various locations
when: February 18 through February 27