It Felt Like Love at Big Muddy

Photography and words by: Matthew McGuire
Directors for the 2014 Big Muddy FIlm Festival
Shayna Connelly and Deron Williams


Carbondale, Ill — Experimental shorts this year at the Big Muddy Film Festival were subtle, but intelligible with additional context provided by the filmmakers during a live Q and A following the screening this afternoon at the Guyon Auditorium.

I think life is more about the words unspoken rather than the words that are said. – Deron Williams, director of Promo

Williams and Connelly spoke with the audience about their short films that provoked different emotions. Promo was directed by Williams, and the film left me wanting dialogue from the main subject at the beginning of the movie, but I started to understand that Williams was focusing on the cuts in between the words. As a traditional storyteller, I tend to need dialogue to comprehend the subject matter of each story. Williams helped me see the importance of the spacing around conversation in comparison to the conversation itself.

Blunt Force Trauma by Shayna Connelly was a stirring true story on two planes that collided over Lake Michigan that ended with seven people dead. The film was produced at the end of 2013, and was a powerful additional to the Big Muddy Film Festival. She touched upon the sound engineering within the film during the Q and A. The film contains a powerful story lead by the narrator of the film.

Award-winning filmmakers have been enlightening students and faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this past week with films, shorts and documentaries from all over the globe. Friday highlighted short films with an experimental edge. Last night at Pagliai’s Pizza the festival hosted a screening of Animal House by John Landis. It provided a comical atmosphere for the audience. The film is a classic that stands the test of time, minus a select amount of scenes crafted from the late 1970s.


Saturday will feature a screening of It Felt Like Love by Eliza Hittman. The film was distributed by Variance Films. It features a young girl in the midst of her adolescence. She is caught between stress at home, a sexual awakening and her new responsibilities as a young adult. This film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, BAMcinemaFest, The International Film Festival Rotterdam and more screens around the globe. It will come to Carbondale, Illinois for the 36th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival this Saturday evening.


Stop by the Guyon Auditorium in the Morris Library for a screening of It Felt Like Love from 7-9 p.m on Saturday evening. Interact with the festival, and find out news perspectives on life.