78: Meet Justin Nickels

Justin Nickels has a lot of exciting projects on the horizon, starting with the LRFF's Little Rock Horror Picture Show which begins tonight. 

1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Justin Nickels, Programmer at Little Rock Film Festival and director of our spin off festival, the Little Rock Horror Picture Show, and a filmmaker; 7 1/2 years in Little Rock; Hillcrest. 

2. Do you have a favorite locally made film? My favorite movie made in Arkansas is actually Shotgun Stories but I'm pretty biased about it. It was the first real film I got to work on and that experience will always define what filmmaking is to me. I was 21 when we worked on it and had no idea that it was a "real" movie until a few years later when it came out. It's pretty amazing to me now that I got to see Michael Shannon working/acting before the rest of the world knew how amazing of an actor he is. 

3. What is, hands down, your favorite meal you can only get in Little Rock? I've been a vegetarian for about two and a half years (which surprises everyone I meet) and my favorite meal has to be anyone of the vegetarian options at Bossa Nova, but with a side of Pão de Queijo (cheese bread).  The way the Pão de Queijo melts in your mouth is just awesome and I don't think there's anywhere else in Arkansas you can get it. Bossa Nova was my favorite restaurant even before I was a full-fledged vegetarian, so I recommend it for everyone. 

4. Finish this sentence: My job with the Little Rock Film Festival is awesome because... I get to see a ton of movies before they come out. Some of my closest friends in my adult life have come from working with the festival and we love to bring the art of film to Little Rock. I am near the end of post production on my short film Strangers that I directed and produced with my wife Mallory. I'm actually now starting a new production company with JP Langston as part of our multi-media company called Have You Been There? Productions and we're all really excited to start producing sketches, short films and feature films. Movies have always been fun and it's awesome that they're such a huge part of my life. The film festival itself is considered to be one of the absolute best in the nation if not the world and hopefully more people in Little Rock will find out about it and learn that it's more than just local films. We're usually the second or third festival in the world to show films that premiere at Sundance and SXSW.

5. Describe your perfect evening in LR: My perfect night now in Little Rock would be grabbing dinner at Bossa Nova, heading down to the AMAZING new CALS Ron Robinson Theater, which is managed by the Little Rock Film Festival, and catching a movie or to the White Water Tavern to catch Amasa Hines play (buy their new album, it's phenomenal). I know I sound biased about the theater, but if I didn't work with LRFF it would still be the most amazing theater in Little Rock. If we're not going to go, out my perfect night is usually sitting at home with my wife and dogs watching Cheers on Netflix. 

The 3rd Annual Little Rock Horror Picture Show runs Thursday, March 20, 2014 through Sunday, March 23. Tickets are available here