About The Festivals

The Big Muddy Film Festival – Submissions Closed

The Big Muddy Film Festival, housed within the Cinema & Photography Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has become one of the best-respected, wholly independent, community-focused film festivals. In its 39th year, Big Muddy is among the oldest student-organized film festivals in the United States.

The Big Muddy Film Festival celebrates the innovative works of emerging and established filmmakers and media artists. Big Muddy is dedicated to encouraging grassroots filmmaking in local communities, and to bringing independent film to the rural midwest.

The Festival provides cash awards to the best works in competition in the categories of experimental, documentary, narrative, and animation. The program is juried by three artists or critics of national and international recognition. Past Jurors have included Barbara Hammer, Naomi Uman, Jim Jarmusch, Kerry Laitala, James Benning, and Sasha Waters-Freyer. A panel of local activists awards The John Michaels Memorial Film Award, which honors films that address themes of peace, justice, community action, human rights, and environmental conservation. Click here for more information about The John Michaels Award. As always, votes from the audience determine the Audience Choice Award.

If you would like to submit your film into the festival, click here.

Click below for some promos from our previous festivals made by some very talented people:


The Little Muddy Film and Media Festival – Submissions Closed

The Little Muddy Film and Media Festival is an annual event run by the Big Muddy Crew to showcase the work of SIU’s undergraduate and graduate student-artists. It’s an event presenting short films (10 minutes or less), photography and digital art that is entirely free and open to all. Submission is also free and the work presented will be judged by SIU faculty jurors for the chance to win prizes. To enter any work or learn more about the festival, please visit our Film Freeway page.


The Digital Muddy Media Festival

The Digital Muddy Media Festival is a curated, online exhibit featuring the latest and greatest, unique digital art in March every year. This festival is newer to SIU, but if you’re interested, visit the Digital Muddy website for more information about last year’s festival and our upcoming one.

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