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Robert Sickels has been obsessed with movies since he saw Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory at a Seattle drive-in when he was three years old. This fixation with all things cinematic ultimately led to his earning a PhD with an emphasis in film studies at the University of Nevada. He is a father, a proud Vizsla co-parent with his lovely partner Annie, an independent filmmaker, a prolific writer & editor, a baseball junkie, a foodie, a semi-professional mixologist, hopelessly addicted to pop culture, and the founder of Big Whiskey Studios, which specializes in micro-documentary projects that emphasize engaging personal narratives.

His documentary shorts, all of which were made on a wing and a prayer, have screened widely in the US and abroad, including on PBS and at the Cinequest, St. Louis International, Indie Memphis, IFF Boston, Dallas VideoFest, New Orleans, and Sidewalk Film Festivals.

Since 1999, Sickels has taught Film History and Filmmaking at Whitman College, where he is a Professor and the Director of the Film & Media Studies Program.

Awards & Distinctions

Alma Meisnest Chair of the Humanities, Whitman College, 2018 - Present

Molasses & Lemon, Best Experimental Short, Arizona Underground Film Festival, 2018

Seven Ways From Sunday, Best Documentary Short, Thin Line Film Festival, 2015.

American Lawn, Chosen for inclusion in the Best of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, 2014.

Sterling Hallard Bright Drake, Audience Award, Best Short Film Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, 2012.

Walla Walla Wiffle, Best Documentary Short Festivus Film Festival, 2011.

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2010