January 16, 2013

Judges selected for 35th Big Muddy Film Festival

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Judges are in place for the 35th annual Big Muddy Film Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Filmmakers Bobby Abate, Jesse McLean, and Julie Wyman will be part of the annual event, which brings some of the best of independent filmmaking to the region.  The festival runs Feb. 20-24.

Started in 1979, the film festival remains one of the oldest film festivals affiliated with a university in the nation.  The festival will feature both competition and non-competition screenings daily, and has juried films in four categories: animation, documentary, experimental and narrative.

“I am excited about this year’s cast of jurors,” said Michele Torre, an assistant professor in cinema and photography and festival adviser.  “The student coordinators have done an amazing job securing three very talented jurors, whose filmmaking crosses genres, techniques and styles.”

Abate’s work has been featured in venues including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, The New York Film Festival, and the Institutes of Contemporary Art.  He is currently involved in pre-production for his second feature, “Dressed in Black.”

McLean’s work has been on display at museums, galleries and film festivals worldwide.  She earned the Ghostly Award for Best Sound Design at the 2012 Ann Arbor Film Festival; the Overkill Award at the 2011 Images Festival, and the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival.  McLean is an assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa.

Wyman is also an award-winning filmmaker.  In addition to her work in independent film, she is an assistant professor of Cinema and Technocultural Studies at the University of California, Davis.  Her 2012 documentary, “Strong!” a film on U.S. Olympian weightlifter Cheryl Haworth, premiered in June 2012 at the Silverdocs Film Festival.

“We’re honored to have these jurors be a part of this year’s festival,” said Silvia Dadian, a co-director of this year’s film festival.  “Each will bring a unique perspective to the competition, and they are all doing really fantastic work.  The juror screenings and workshops are going to be truly exciting.”

Festival sponsors include The Arthur Agency in Carbondale, the Illinois Arts Council, WSIU Radio, SIU Carbondale Undergraduate Student Government, and the Student Fine Arts Activity Fee.

More festival information will be available at bigmuddyfilm.com/ or by email at info@bigmuddyfilm.com.

(Silvia Dadian, co-director of this year’s Big Muddy Film Festival, contributed information for this release.)