5th annual Little Muddy Film Festival to showcase student films

By Emily Cooper, Staff Reporter

The 5th annual Little Muddy Film Festival will showcase student work in the Guyon Auditorium in the Morris Library on April 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., with an opening reception at 5:00 p.m.

“This festival is a celebration of mass communications and media arts at SIU,” Ryan McCarthy, a senior studying advertising, said. “It’s open only to SIU students, whereas the Big Muddy Film Festival is open to filmmakers from across the world.”

Normally, this is a festival showcases short films made by SIU students; however, a major change is coming to this year’s festival where students could also submit RSO films from organizations in the College of Mass Communications and Media Arts, Alt News 26:46 and Big Muddy.


The festival crew does everything on a year-by-year basis because the crew changes and people in charge change, Aster Arseneau, the Big Muddy festival president, said.

“This year we had a discussion about how we wanted to do things. We actually changed how the whole juror and award process and made it more about a celebration and everyone coming together,” Arseneau said. “We want to make sure those other students who are heavily involved in other RSOs have a chance for their films to be shown.”

McCarthy said the change makes it easier for busy students.

“If you’re making content for [your] RSO, it would be heartbreaking to put so much time and effort into this and it’s not accepted,” he said. “It just felt easier for everybody because whether or not you’re making it for a TV show, film or RSO you’re still making art, you’re still making a product that you should be happy with.”

Instead of setting this event as a competition, the Little Muddy Film Festival decided against jurors and awards.

“We used to have faculty members jure which films get into this festival, but this year we want to make it more about the students…which is an exciting change and hopefully bring the RSOs together in this kind of unique way,” Caleb Bunn, a senior cinema and photography major, said.

The ambassadors for this year’s event are: Deion Smith from MCM, Hayley Walsh from Alt News 26:46, Caleb Bunn from Big Muddy and Jay Holland will help with the curation process for Photogenesis, according to Arseneau.


Instead of calling them jurors, they’re calling them curators because they are sort of curating the festival rather than deciding, Arseneau said.

“We don’t want anyone to have awards,” she said. “We don’t want it to be competitive.”

McCarthy said personal taste is always going to be a thing but Little Muddy is trying to get the most unbiased representatives from each group.

“We really wanted people to be fair with this,” he said. “There’s no genres in place that we’re sticking to, it’s strictly ‘did they put a lot of passion and work into this?’ If so, let’s celebrate it.”

The requirements for a film to be showcased at this event are: they have to be made by an SIU student, have to be under 10 minutes long and it has to be not shown in last year’s event, Bunn said.

McCarthy said students should come to the festival even it they aren’t submitting, to come celebrate those who make content.

“It would mean a lot to be able to appreciate the SIU community,” McCarthy said. “Big Muddy was great for celebrating filmmakers worldwide, but Little Muddy really has that passion of SIU’s campus within it.”

Staff reporter Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected].

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