2012 Special Guests Announced: Directors Jay Russell and Jeff Nichols and Actress Lea Thompson
Little Rock, Ark- The Little Rock Film Festival (LRFF) will honor Arkansas native directors Jay Russell (Ladder 49, End of the Line, My Dog Skip, The Waterhorse) and Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud) at the 2012 festival gala. The LRFF Diamond Award pays tribute to filmmakers who have made extraordinary contributions to film and Arkansas. The Directors will also hold an exclusive Filmmaker/Gold Pass workshop at the festival.
Jay Russell got his first break at the age of 19, filming a series of commercials for the Arkansas Parks and Tourism division. Like his boss at the time, Governor Bill Clinton, Russell would go on to bigger and better things. His films like Ladder 49, End of the Line, and Waterhorse have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
Jeff Nichols was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He and made his feature debut with the film Shotgun Stories, which was nominated for a 2008 Independent Spirit Award. His next filmTake Shelter, starring Michael Shannon took a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week. Jeff will release the filmMud, shot on location in South Arkansas, and starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon sometime this fall.
Also confirmed for this year’s festival actress Lea Thompson will screen her new film The Trouble with the Truth. Jimmy Hemphill, the film’s director, will also be in attendance. Thompson will also present a Women in Film panel at this year’s festival and screen a surprise cult classic from the 1980s.