LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Little Rock Film Festival wrapped up five days of screenings with an awards gala honoring Little Rock native Jeff Nichols, best known for his film "Take Shelter" and "Mud".
The Little Rock Film Festival paid tribute to the filmmaker for his extraordinary contributions to film and to Arkansas. Jeff Nichols received the Diamond Award for his talent in the film industry and accomplishments.
On the last day of the festival, Nichols hosted a rare and intimate conversation with festival goers about directing, his career, and his upcoming movie "Mud." The film was shot on location in Central and South Arkansas
earlier this year starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.
Executive Director of the Little Rock Film Festival Craig Renaud says Nichols is a hometown boy who has gone on to do amazing things. "He is really blowing up as a big time director so we're very honored to have him back here."
Nichols film "Take Shelter" starring Michael Shannon took a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week. "Mud" also received high marks in France.
Renaud says "mud" filming in Arkansas is probably one of the biggest things to happy here. "If Nichols hadn't been here it probably would have been less expensive to film in another state, but he wanted to bring the film to Arkansas which is very big."
That's why the Little Rock Film Festival is honoring Nichols with a Diamond Award for his work. Renaud says this inspires younger filmmakers in Arkansas. "You're not in New York or Los Angeles, but there is a very strong film community here that's growing better each year."
Nichols says he owes everything he has and everything he is to Arkansas.
After the awards gala the party continued at Crush Wine Bar in North Little Rock.
"Mud" hits the theaters this fall.