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February 21, 2006
Posted online February 24, 2006

Big Muddy Film Festival opens Feb. 24

By Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Big Muddy Film Festival, one of the longest-running University/community film festivals in the nation, kicks off Friday, Feb. 24, with a variety of films guaranteed to entertain and provoke thought.

Founded in 1979, this year's10-day festival includes the Hollywood classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" at midnight on Saturday, Feb. 25. The festival also features a wide selection of experimental, animated, narrative and documentary films shown at local coffeehouses, the SIUC Student Center and other locations. The festival ends Sunday, March 5, with "Best of the Fest," a showing of the top films as selected by a committee of organizers and film jurors.

In keeping with its tradition of involving the greater Southern Illinois community, films will play in Carbondale, Murphysboro, Cobden and Makanda.

"We'll have a University hub and then we try to get out into the communities," said Brian Gallagher, a graduate student in cinema and photography from Chicago, and the director of this year's festival. "For SIUC and the community to have this festival is extraordinary. The types of quality films we get in here are really building a film-savvy audience. Without this event, the opportunity to see these kinds of film in this region would by very limited."

The festival is one of the best known of its type in the country and receives about 300 entries in four categories of judging. Those categories are narrative, documentary, experimental and animation. Almost half the entries are from non-student, practicing professionals.

Pre-screening committees cut down the number of films actually entered into the competition to between 50 and 70. Three jurors from the film industry then divide the estimated $3,500 in prize money as they see fit.

"They decide how to split it," said Mike Covell, executive director of the festival and assistant professor of cinema and photography, who has been involved with the festival throughout its life.

Jurors for the festival are Brian Standing, a documentary maker; Danielle Beverly, documentary maker; and either Nicole Dreiske or Peter Gilbert.

Covell said advances in digital technology allow the University to bring the films to more locations off campus. An estimated 2,500 people will view films at various locations during the upcoming festival.

Many events are free. Others cost either $2 or $5.

A complete listing of film presentations follows. Film titles are provided where available. All presentations labeled as a "showcase" or "feature" involve films entered into festival competition. Admission is free unless otherwise noted.

Friday, Feb. 24

9 a.m., Communications Building, Room 1116, "John Michaels Memorial Film Award Showcase"

7 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, 100 E. Jackson St., Carbondale, "Shorts Showcase"

Midnight, University Place 8 Theatre, 1370 E. Main St., Carbondale, "Brazil," $5

Saturday, Feb. 25

10 a.m., University Place 8 Theatre, "The Princess Bride," $5

11 a.m., Interfaith Center, 913 S. Illinois Ave., John Michaels Memorial Film Award winners presentation.

2 p.m. Noteworthy Building, 3952 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, "Narrative Showcase"

5 p.m., Noteworthy Building, "Narrative Showcase"

7 p.m., Yellow Moon Café, 110 N. Front St., Cobden, "Best of Animation"

9 p.m., Noteworthy Building, "Documentary Showcase"

Midnight, University Place 8 Theatre, "2001: A Space Odyssey," $5

Sunday, Feb. 26

10 a.m., University Place 8 Theatre, "Darwin's Nightmare," $5

Noon, Longbranch Coffee House, "Documentary Shorts"

2 p.m., Noteworthy Building, "Experimental Showcase"

5 p.m., Noteworthy Building, Documentary Showcase"

8 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Shorts Showcase"

Monday, Feb. 27

5 p.m. SIUC Student Center, "Documentary Feature," $2

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Baran"

7:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Animation Showcase"

9 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Competition Showcase," $2

9:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Documentary Showcase"

Tuesday, Feb. 28

5 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Documentary Feature," $2

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Daughters of the Sun"

7 p.m., Gallery HQ, downtown Makanda "Shorts Showcase"

7:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Shorts Showcase"

9 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Animation Showcase," $2

9:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Experimental Showcase"

Wednesday, March 1

5 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Documentary Feature," $2

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Osama"

7 p.m., Yellow Moon Café, "Documentary Shorts"

7:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Documentary Showcase"

9 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Competition Showcase,"$2

9:30 p.m., Longbranch Coffee House, "Narrative Showcase"

Thursday, March 2

5 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Documentary Showcase," $2

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Juror Presentation"

9:30 p.m., SIUC Student Center, narrative "Save the Green Planet,"$2

9:30 p.m., Yellow Moon Café, "Documentary Showcase"

Friday, March 3

5 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Narrative: The Hole Story," $2

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Juror Presentation"

9:30 p.m., SIUC Student Center, documentary: "Popaganda," $2

9:30 p.m., Yellow Moon Café, "Narrative Showcase"

Saturday, March 4

10 a.m., University Place 8 Theatre, "Mangal Pandey,"$5

Noon, SIUC Student Center, "Special Presentation: Classics of Avant Garde," $2

4 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Narrative: Ellektra," $2

4 p.m., Liberty Theater, 1333 Walnut St., Murphysboro, narrative: "Troubadour," $5

7 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Juror Presentation"

9:30 p.m., SIUC Student Center, "Feature Presentation, TBA" $2

Sunday, March 5

7 p.m., Liberty Theatre, "Best of Fest," $5

Coordinating and expanding major cultural outreach programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

 
© 2005 The Cairo Gate