SIU Cinema & Photography Department Alum Edgar Barens, joins us for a screening of his Oscar-nominated documentary film, Prison Terminal on Wednesday, February 25th at 7:00pm in the SIU Student Center Auditorium. There will be a Q&A session after the screening.
PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL is a moving cinema verité documentary that breaks through the walls of one of Americas oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him. The film draws from footage shot over a six-month period behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary and provides a fascinating and often poignant account of how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated.
Tickets for the Big Muddy Film Festival are free for current SIU Students with ID.
SIU Staff/Faculty and community members can purchase passes at the door or online.
SIU’s Global Media Research Center will host a new symposium in collaboration with the Big Muddy Film Festival titled Expanding Media: Identities. The inaugural symposium has been established to create a forum to examine current and expanding trends in media making. This year’s symposium considers issues of identity and will have a unique focus on issues of representation from the perspectives of black men in the United States.
Expanding Media: Identities will feature the work of photographer Chris Johnson and the development of Question Bridge, a film, interactive web site, and mobile app that is “…a platform for Black men of all ages and backgrounds to ask and respond to questions about life in America”.
The Expanding Media: Identities symposium will begin with a screening of Question Bridge: Black Males on Friday, February 20th at 4:00 pm in the John Guyon Auditorium of Morris Library. The screening is free and open to the public. A brief reception will follow the screening and the event will continue with a panel session including: Chris Johnson of The Question Bridge, Dr. Gerald Butters, Professor of History at Aurora University, Dr. Novotny Lawrence, Chair of SIUC’s Radio, Television and Digital Media Department, Dr. Angela Aguayo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography at SIUC and Hassan Pitts, Artist in Residence with the Big Muddy Film Festival.
A companion/ hands- on workshop titled Question This?: Workshopping the Tools of Cultural Dialog will take place on Saturday, February 21st from 1:00pm -3:00pm on the Cinema Soundstage in Communications 1116. Workshop leaders Chris Johnson and Hassan Pitts will guide participants on a practical and critical tour of today’s mobile technologies that will include concepts of ethnography and image-based representation. The event is free and open to the public. For workshop reservations, please contact Zach Sapienza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please contact Jay Needham, Interim Director of the Global Media Research Center and Associate Professor for Radio, Television and Digital Media by email at email@example.com
John Michaels was a cinema student at SIU Carbondale in the 1980s, who dedicated his work to peace and justice. While a student, he traveled to Cuba with Professor Emeritus and Big Muddy Film Festival founder Mike Covell and Edgar Barens, recent Academy Award nominee who will kick off this year’s BMFF with Prison Terminal, to document the daily life of people immersed in that living revolution. Closer to home, Michaels worked on a film about a St Louis church that gave sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador.
After leaving Carbondale, Michaels was diagnosed with brain cancer, from which he did not survive. To memorialize his work, the Big Muddy Film Festival added an award category to encourage filmmakers who focus on creating inspiring stories about struggles for social justice, locally and in the world. Each year a jury of local activists and engaged residents spends a day watching documentaries in order to select the ones that offered the most relevant, impassioned and engaged perspectives to the many troubles of our time. This year’s jury included Courtney Smith, Jessica Allee, Shay Chess, Sharifa Stewart, Georgia de la Garza, Tod Kington, Paul Matelonis, Marilyn Smerken and Cathy Talbott. We’d like to thank them and our John Michaels chair, Sarah Lewison, and our host, Angela Aguaya,. This year, they viewed films covering a range of subjects, environmental racism, police brutality, institutional racism, industrial toxins and dangerous petrol-infrastructures, and struggles for true democratic representation.
Many of these films intelligently, sometimes humorously, uncovered the systemic roots of injustice in laws that do not provide protection for the most vulnerable in our society. The most inspiring films revealed a vision of the possible- ways that people are reorienting themselves within the society by creating new communities, by conducting their own research and by forging new possibilities for the cultivation of non-violence, mutual care, and justice as a public form of love.
The winner of the 2015 John Michaels Film Award is Karina Epperlein’s Finding the Gold Within.
This is an inspiring documentary about the storytelling pedagogies of a youth program in Akron Ohio called the Alchemy Project. This beautifully shot film leaves viewers with a feeling of concrete hope and awe for the young men who are its subjects, as we see them become articulate spokespersons for their developing values of community and integrity. The Jungian based Alchemy Project nurtures young men within a circle of love and compassion, where together, participants support each other on the project of cultivating the inner capacities one needs to face life’s journey.
In second place for the award, we have Arresting Power – Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon, directed by Jodi Darby & Julie Perini. This film is an acute and compassionate look at the realities of police brutality in Portland, Oregon. Produced through a collective study process by resident participants, the film is crucially relevant for keeping the problem of police indemnity in the public eye.
This sensitively and creatively made film honors the lives of hundreds of people who have been victims of police brutality, and highlights solutions, offering a model of citizen organizing and redress.
The jury noted several others films as important for facilitating discussion about how status quo conditions often reflect institutional racism and other forms of injustice. These documentaries offer a window to ways that people organize among themselves and seek change. Never tidy- these films show how messy organizing for change can be, and how it is necessarily integrated into the fabric of daily life.
The Uprising (Directed by Peter Snowden) | An exhilarating experimentally edited montage of the pan-arabic rebellions in 2011, this film was compiled with the footage shot by hundreds of people across the Arabic world in that year.
In an Ideal World (Directed by Noel Schwerin) | A film about a non-violent pedagogy program at Soledad prison- incredibly interesting story, inspiring and vitally important for inviting people to think about the institution of incarceration and its many failures.
Crying Earth Rise Up (Directed by Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden) | This film about uranium mining brought so many issues together- especially explicitly linking industrial uses of land and the poisoning of land and water with rural issues and social inequities, particularly having to do with the sovereignty of indigenous people.
Out of Deepwood (Directed by Craig Weflen} | This film tells the story of how the City of Dallas allowed a toxic dump to fester in a middle-class African American suburban neighborhood until activists insisted it is cleaned up. This film offers a succinct understanding of how urban and suburban zoning laws operated to enforce environmental injustices throughout the last decades.
These films, along with many others, will be showing at the 37th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival launching on February 24, 2015 – March 1, 2015.
The 37th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival Programming Committee is happy to announce it’s lineup for this year’s festival. This year, our committee chose from over 300+ submissions from around the world.
|The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead & Roundhead||Elliot Cowan|
|A Queer Peace||Bryce Wolfe|
|Animation Hotline 2013||Dustin Grella|
|Between Times||Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter|
|LADY and the frog||Tina Hsu|
|Let Go||Danielle Braddish|
|Lilly’s Big Day||Xstine Cook|
|My Kingdom||Debra Solomon|
|Simorgh||Meghdad Asadi Lari|
|The Looking Planet||eric anderson|
|The Mortal Flame||Daniel Crawford|
|TREASURE NEST||Meng Chwen (JOY) Tien|
|Up in a Plane||Rachel Moore|
|Zeke and the All-Inclusive Cat House||Susan Shay Brugger|
|Almost There||Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden|
|Arresting Power- Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon||Jodi Darby & Julie Perini & Erin Yanke|
|Changing Face of Harlem||Shawn Batey|
|Crying Earth Rise Up||Suree Towfighnia|
|Davids and Goliath||Leon Lee|
|Dwarves Kingdom||Matthew Salton|
|Finding the Gold Within||Karina Epperlein|
|In an Ideal World||Noel Schwerin|
|Little White Lie||Mehret Mandefro|
|The Uprising||Peter Snowdon|
|THE URBAN WORLD||Warren Bass|
|Where is Elle-Kari and what happened to Noriko-san?||Dvorit Shargal|
|Hard-boiled Wonderland||Wook Steven Heo|
|Henny’s Opus in B Minor||Andrew Conte|
|M4M: Seeks Love||Russell Sheaffer|
|N64Q: Born Free||Sasha Gransjean|
|Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution||Matthew VanDyke|
|Out of Deepwood||Craig Weflen|
|Seven Ways From Sunday||Robert Sickels|
|This is Not the End||Hilary Campbell|
|Wallas on Velos||Alton Valadares|
|What’s in a Name||Daniel Robin|
|All the Memory in the World||Mike Olenick|
|Ham over Rice||Ying Liu|
|Hat Trick||Katherin McInnis|
|Inkjet 3056A||Karissa Hahn|
|July the Twelfth 1984||Jordan Baseman|
|Maternity Test||Irene Lusztig|
|Mototanaka Dérive||Michael Lyons & Malte Steiner|
|re:belief||Raymond McCarthy Bergeron|
|REAL WEST||Kevin T Allen|
|signals: where do we go from here?||Shayna Connelly|
|Sound of a Million Insects, Light of a Thousand Stars||Tomonari Nishikawa|
|Support The Troops: A Veteran’s View||Paul Riedner|
|Working Title||Irina Arnaut|
|Alexandria Leaving||John Zhao|
|Bread and Butter||Liz Manashil|
|JOY KEVIN||Caleb Johnson|
|Liar’s Dice||Siddhant Chavan|
|Zone 7||Carlo Obispo|
|A Beautiful View of Nothing||Blake Labriola|
|Carry On||Yatao Li|
|depending on traffic||ben cotti|
|february 28||Diana Galimzyanova|
|Into the Dark||Lukas Hassel|
|MIDNIGHT MUNCHIES||Karen Linton|
|My Fatherland Vegas||zvika nathan|
|Myrna the Monster||Ian Samuels|
|No Love Lost||Shekhar Bassi|
|Nowhere I’d Rather Be||Joachim Pfefferkorn|
|The Night Guardian||Brian Ott|
|The Place Where You Live||Alexis Hurkman|
The 37th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival is proud to announce the official jury for the 2015 festival. Prizes will be awarded in each of the festival’s categories including Animation, Documentary, Experimental and Narrative. The winning films will be announced at the Big Muddy Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the end of the festival.
Anna Margarita Albelo is a globe-trotting Cuban-American filmmaker, journalist and cultural activist. Her feature film, “Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?” has screened in over 100 international film festivals, won 10 international awards, and is distributed worldwide, as are her past 3 documentaries: “HOOTERS, A Lez in Wonderland,” and “Gay, and so what?” Anna has been a regular collaborator for Canal Plus France for whom she has written and directed the short film, “The Turkey” (Cannes Film Festival’s CRITIC’S WEEK, 2008), as well as, several original documentaries on gay and lesbian culture exploring Cuba, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. Her feature documentary on collaborative filmmaking and lesbian culture called, “HOOTERS!,” was an LA WEEKLY Top Pick. This year, Anna was a Juror for the 2014 Cannes International Film festival’s, “Queer Palm” award and is in development of new projects for film and television.
Melika Bass is a Chicago-based moving image artist who creates experimental narrative films and experiential installations. Recent shows include the Torino Film Festival in Italy, a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2011); the BFI London Film Festival, UK; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; Kino der Kunst, Munich; and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.Bass is the recipient of an Artadia Award, two Media Arts Fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the Kodak/Filmcraft Imaging Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and an Experimental Film Prize from the Athens International Film Festival. Bass was one of a dozen international filmmakers commissioned by the Icelandic band SIGUR ROS to create an original video for their “Valtari Mystery Film Experiment.”
Bob Paris’ electronic art has screened at venues around the world including the Whitney Biennial, the Image Forum Festival in Tokyo and the Rencontres Internationales in Paris and Berlin. He currently directs The Cluster Project, an ongoing web gallery and blog that uses multimedia artworks to explore weapons, war, civilian casualties and pop culture. In 2015 Paris will launch online the Disturbance Cycle, a series of works that resurrect scenes from the TV coverage of the 1992 L.A. riots to explore spectacle, social disaster, and historic amnesia. Paris received a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is currently an associate professor in Kinetic Imaging at VCU’s School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia, where he teaches socially engaged media and video production.
With a desire to engage the expanding modalities of film and media, the Big Muddy Film Festival announces a call for digital media submissions for the 2015 Digital Muddy program to coincide with the Big Muddy Film Festival in Carbondale, Illinois. Selected works will represent a fresh ongoing curation of various trends and practices that engage the illusive notion of the expanding digital narrative. All new and traditional genres will be considered.
Particular attention will be paid to new media, net art, interactive, website based projects, webisodes, digital imaging, user generated imagery, participatory, experimental, social engagement, etc. and sound, film, video, animation that in many ways eludes or refutes its placement inside the black box theater.
This inaugural showcase will be juried by digital artist and curator Nia Burks. The selected work will be showcased online via the Digital Muddy 2015 website, a segment of the Big Muddy Film Festival site.