KNOXVILLE — Everyone knows Big Ears offers cool music. Now the annual avant garde Knoxville festival is getting props for its film content.

MovieMaker Magazine this week put Big Ears on its list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2018.

Others on the list are in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, San Francisco, New York. Pretty great company.

The Big Ears Festival
The Big Ears Festival

Big Ears is held every March downtown. It mixes respected and well-known artists such as Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and the Everybodyfields with more obscure artists from faraway countries.

Its film mix also is eclectic and progressive.

Related: Big Ears 2018 - More jazz, bluegrass

Six panelists weighed in on their favorites. Here's what California-based MovieMaker has to say about Big Ears:

"Curated by Paul Harrill and Darren Hughes, Big Ears Film Festival is slowly positioning itself as something of the experimental answer to SXSW. ...It’s not hard to imagine it soon becoming an essential stop on the spring circuit,' raves a panelist."

Big Ears Finale

Big Ears started presenting a bill of films several years ago. The festival itself first appeared in 2009, went dormant and then came back as an annual event in 2014, easily drawing 15,000 to 20,000.

According to MovieMaker, "2018’s run included a celebration of Canyon Cinema’s 50th anniversary, with presentations of 36 of the indie moviemaker cooperative’s works on digital, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm prints."

Next year's festival already has been announced -- March 21-24, with weekend passes now on sale.

Aritsts announced in recent weeks include Nils Frahm, The Messthetics, cellist Clarice Jenson in collaboration with visual artist Jonathan Turner and Kayhan Kalhor with Brooklyn Rider.