Each year, The Big Muddy Crew selected three film and media enthusiasts from all walks of life with various interests to jury the films selected into The Big Muddy Film Festival. This year, they would like to introduce the jurors for the 40th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival!
Akosua Adoma Owusu | Personal Webpage
Akosua is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005. Her work addresses the collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a “triple consciousness.” Owusu interprets Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness and creates a third identity or consciousness, representing the diverse consciousness of women and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture.Named by Indiewire as one of the six Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema, her work addresses the collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a “triple consciousness.” Owusu interprets Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness and creates a third identity or consciousness, representing the diverse consciousness of women and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture. She has been featured in major international exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Georges Pompidou; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Hammer Museum and Fowler Museum at UCLA; Art + Practice; Prospect.3: Notes for Now New Orleans Biennial; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She is the recipient of many awards including an African Movie Academy Award, Creative Capital grant, MacDowell Colony fellowship and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship.
Tom Ludwigis an award-winning filmmaker and arts educator from Kalamazoo, Michigan who teaches film interpretation at Western Michigan University and film and video production for Education for the Arts; a unique countywide arts education program for the public schools in Kalamazoo County. Over the past 30 years he taught these subjects at Oakland Community College, The University of Michigan, Detroit Filmmakers Coalition, Bowling Green State University, and Schoolcraft College prior to settling in Kalamazoo. Since graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1981 with an MFA in film production, Tom has worked in Detroit, Chicago, and Hollywood as a director of photography, editor, screenwriter, director, and producer on narrative feature films, commercials, and promotional videos. From 1970 to today he has maintained production of a personal body of work in experimental and documentary film. His work has gained recognition through film festivals, public television, special screenings, and guest lecturing.
Ben Kalina | Personal Webpage
Ben Kalina is the COO and Supervising Producer of Titmouse Animation. He is responsible for overseeing production and development across its three studios. He helps promote and maintain the studios’ overall vision, facilitates all incoming jobs and manages processing techniques. While serving as supervising producer on Amazon’s Niko and the Sword of Light, the show won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program. Prior to Titmouse, he worked in production at Warner Bros. Animation & VFX. During his time there he helped develop their digital pipeline and worked on transitioning the studio from traditional paper animation to a digital workflow. He currently oversees production on the Netflix comedy series Big Mouth, the upcoming Amazon kids show Little Big Awesome, and the seventh season of the Adult Swim cult classic Venture Bros. Though Titmouse is known primarily for their television programming, Kalina has been instrumental in expanding Titmouse’s scope and client base to include advertising campaigns, music videos, and video game trailers. Recent projects include the Grammy-nominated music video for Jay-Z’s “The Story of OJ,” a Nike for Champs TV spot, and a Clash Royale: Sea of Chaos multi-spot promotional package.