When MUD competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the audience warmly received the film almost instantly. Then when the movie had its limited release earlier this year on April 26, 2013, the critics and movie-goers also embraced the Southern coming-of-age film with open arms and heart.
Filmed entirely in Arkansas, MUD is the creation of director Jeff Nichols who also wrote the screenplay. The talented cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon. In addition to premiering at Cannes 2012, MUD was also shown at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January 2013.
Grossing over $20 million and still going strong, Jeff Nichols' MUD is the top-grossing film ever released by Roadside Attractions (the production company that launched Winter's Bone to the 83rd Oscars list). MUD is also the biggest production to film in Arkansas. Its breakout box-office success seems to surprise everyone. Some folks even claim that it is the best Southern film they've seen in a long time. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an astounding score of 98%.
"It was very important to us to bring this film to Arkansas," says Jeff Nichols, who is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas and who also made his first film, Shotgun Stories, in England, Arkansas.
"The people and the river and houseboats in the region are particular to the MUD story. The Arkansas Film Commission and The Agency Inc. opened doors for us to make this happen," continues Nichols. "The people and community leaders and police in the places where we filmed really came out to help the film, and we greatly benefitted from their support. I feel very proud to have made this film in Arkansas."
The feelings are mutual. Arkansas loved MUD right back. "Arkansas's Delta region has been a perfect fit for this film," says Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane. "There was a team effort among the Arkansas State Police, Game and Fish Commission and Department of Finance and Administration to keep the production running smoothly, addressing all concerns in a timely and professional manner. We really appreciate the work of Jeff Nichols and his team to bring this production to Arkansas. We are proud to call Jeff one of our own and hope Arkansas is home to many more of his films over the coming years."
For more information on filming in Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Film Commission.
Browse Arkansas's film locations.
PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo of "Mud" via Google.