Big Muddy Film Festival | Cinema and Photography | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Mass Communication and Media Arts

Big Muddy Film Festival


This year is Big Muddy's 40th year and we have an exciting schedule and celebrations lined up.

Image of BMFF 40th Cake

The Big Muddy Film Festival is the oldest student-run independent film festival in the U.S. It is known for a strong tradition of encouraging independent, innovative, experimental, and documentary cinema that has pushed the language of cinema arts in general. Many of our most famous alumni have cut their teeth learning about the circulation of cinema through the Big Muddy. Students organize the entire festival, screen and select films, and choose and invite established and upcoming artists as jurors. The jurors stay on campus for three days, judge films, and also hold a workshop and presentation on their own work. Visiting artists have included Robert Frank, Santiago Alvarez, Michele Citron, Jill Klein, Jim Jarmusch, and Julia Reichert. Started in 1979, the Big Muddy remains a significant cultural event in the local community as well.

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40 years in the making,  Read more on the history of the Big Muddy in an interview with Mike Covell

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