Big Muddy Film Festival

Support the Big Muddy Film Festival

Please consider a donation to the Big Muddy Film Festival.  This fund supports the annual Big Muddy Film Festival (BMFF) in its presentation of national and international media work to the SIU campus and Southern Illinois communities.  Your contribution will go directly to the BMFF budget and will fund students involved in the festival, and expenses associated with creating a safe, virtual experience. 

The Big Muddy Film Festival, now in its 43rd year, is one of the oldest student-run independent film festivals in the U.S. Started in 1979, it is known for a tradition of programming independent, innovative, experimental, and documentary films and videos that push the language of cinema arts. Students organize the entire festival, screen and select films, and choose and invite established and upcoming artists as jurors.  Many of our most famous alumni have cut their teeth learning about the circulation of cinema through the Big Muddy.

The 2021 festival, running March 17-31, features competitive films in five categories: animation, experimental, narrative, and smartphone, as well as virtual juror presentations. Details on the selected films and the festival are on the Big Muddy Film Festival website and Facebook and Instagram pages. Virtual events with festival jurors will take place March 18, 19 and 20, and a virtual award ceremony will cap the fest on March 28. All content will be recorded for watching later.  More information is also available at

The festival also features films for the John Michaels Award, a competition honoring a cinema student in the 1980s who earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at SIU Carbondale. John Michaels was involved in community organizing and activism before he died of brain cancer. The category focuses on films that highlight struggles for social and environmental justice.

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