Cinema and Photography Big Muddy Film Festival

Southern Illinois University



College of Mass Communication and Media Arts

Big Muddy Film Festival



The Big Muddy Film Festival is the oldest student-run independent film festival in the U.S. Started in 1979, the Big Muddy remains a significant cultural event in the local community as well.

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. 



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2021 Press Release