The Art of Film
After the hubbub has died down and the flashbulbs have ceased their popping at Utah's Sundance Film Festival, independent
filmmakers head to Carbondale for the Big Muddy Film Festival.
One of the oldest community-run film festivals in the country, first organized in 1979,
Big Muddy screens dozens of films over a ten-day period at various venues in southern Illinois and western Kentucky.
The festival eschews the celebrity status that permeates festivals like Sundance, opting instead to focus on experimental
and documentary films. But Big Muddy has drawn its own share of big names, with photographer Robert Frank and the iconic director
Jim Jarmusch serving as judges in past competitions.
And while audiences are enjoying these hard-to-find movies, filmmakers are competing for monetary prizes, including the John
Michaels Memorial Film Award given to films that promote human rights, peace and justice topics, or environmental issues.
Check out some of the other film festivals that happen in Illinois every year: the
International Children's Film Festival, the
Festival for Cinema of the Deaf and the
Latino Film Festival, all taking place in Chicago, and the
Beyond Normal Film Fest in the city of Normal.