Muskrat Lovely

to have its television premiere on PBS, Tuesday, October 31, at 10pm (check local listings)

“It’s almost as if Christopher Guest is hovering appreciatively somewhere in the background.” —Variety 

(San Francisco)—Every year in the backwaters of Chesapeake Bay, the world’s fastest muskrat skinners face off in a truly cutthroat competition, demonstrating their unique skills to find out who’s the best. And one lucky young lady will get to be their queen. MUSKRAT LOVELY takes place at the National Outdoors Show, capturing the action of the fast-paced skinning contest and the Miss Outdoors beauty pageant as, incredibly, both events unfold on the same stage. A celebration of all things outdoors—hunting, fishing, trapping, goose calling, log sawing and, most of all, muskrat skinning—the Outdoors Show and its accompanying beauty pageant are the highlight of the year’s cultural activities in the town of Golden Hill, Maryland. 

MUSKRAT LOVELY follows eight contestants in the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary pageant and attempts to answer how a beauty pageant and a muskrat-skinning contest came to co exist. An ironic and tender look at a close-knit community in a remote area, MUSKRAT LOVELY was filmed entirely on location in Dorchester County, Maryland, home of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge—and a lot of unlucky muskrats. This is a place where men make their living off the water, and the opportunities for glamour are few. 

MUSKRAT LOVELY will have its television premiere on the Emmy Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Terrence Howard, on Tuesday, October 31, at 10pm (check local listings). 

The MUSKRAT LOVELY interactive companion website ( features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more. 

About the Filmmaker 
Director Amy Nicholson is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Currently living in New York City, Nicholson has worked as an advertising art director since birth, creating award-winning commercials for every imaginable type of product. A few years ago, she shot her first documentary, Beauty School, a short about the New York School of Dog Grooming. Beauty School was selected for numerous international film festivals, including Hot Docs, the Woodstock Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It is currently appearing on the PBS program The Short List. MUSKRAT LOVELY is Nicholson’s first feature-length project. It premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival last fall. MUSKRAT LOVELY has also screened at the Austin Film Festival and the Florida Film Festival. Nicholson is currently working on a photography book and has already begun production on her next film: a very serious piece involving plastic reindeer. 

Mary Lugo: 770/623-8190,
Cara White: 843/881-1480, 

For more information and/or downloadable images, visit:
Independent Lens website:

Posted on August 24, 2006