Jeff Nichols

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Jeff Nichols
Jeff Nichols.jpg
Nichols at the 2008 San Francisco Indyfest
Born (1978-12-07) December 7, 1978 (age 39)
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 2006–present

Jeff Nichols (born December 7, 1978) is an American film director and screenwriter from Little Rock, Arkansas. He studied filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Nichols has directed Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special (2016), and Loving (2016).

In his review of Midnight Special, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers said "the Arkansas-born Nichols, 37, already ranks with the best American directors of his generation".[1]


Nichols studied film-making at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He wrote his first screenplay, Shotgun Stories, with actor Michael Shannon in mind to play the lead, and contacted the actor though a former teacher.[2] The film was shot on a budget of only $250,000, and released in 2007.

Later, Nichols moved into larger independent productions with 2011's Take Shelter, also starring Shannon, and 2012's Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, which competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, Nichols acted as President of the Jury of the 7th Rome Film Festival.

His 2016 sci-fi drama film Midnight Special competed for the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.[3][4] The same year, he directed the drama Loving, a film about the landmark U.S. civil rights court case Loving v. Virginia, which was nominated for numerous awards, including a Golden Globe nomination for lead actor Joel Edgerton and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for lead actress Ruth Negga.

So far, all films directed by Nichols have featured Michael Shannon either in a leading (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Midnight Special) or supporting capacity (Mud, Loving).

Style and influences[edit]

Nichols notes Mark Twain's influence on him.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Nichols was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is the brother of Lucero guitarist and singer Ben Nichols.[6]


Year Film Credited as Rotten Tomatoes
Director Writer Producer
2007 Shotgun Stories Yes Yes Yes 91%
2011 Take Shelter Yes Yes 92%
2012 Mud Yes Yes 98%
2016 Midnight Special Yes Yes 83%
2016 Loving Yes Yes 89%
2016 In the Radiant City Yes
TBA Alien Nation remake Yes Yes


External links[edit]