'Take Shelter' nets Gotham Awards nominations 

Jeff Nichols' critically acclaimed psychological thriller "Take Shelter" was nominated for Gotham Independent Film Awards for Best Feature and Best Ensemble Performance. The awards ceremony is Nov. 28 in New York City. The other films nominated for Best Feature are "Beginners," "The Descendants," "Meek's Cutoff," and "The Tree of Life," while "Margin Call" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" were nominated for Best Ensemble, along with "Beginners and "The Descendants."

Last year, "Winter's Bone" took home prizes in both of those categories.

Since 1991, the Gotham Awards are given to feature-length, American films that are independently distributed, "made with an economy of means" and "will be given to individual films or performers in films where the vision of an individual director, producer, writer or writer/director is abundantly evident, and where the film cannot be classically defined as a 'work for hire,'" according to the Independent Film Project.

After an eight-week shoot in southeast Arkansas, Jeff Nichols' film "Mud" — starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey — wrapped over the weekend. Now that the shoot's over, Nichols and producers are ready to reveal details about the Arkansas actor cast as "Neckbone," one of the teen-aged leads in the coming-of-age drama. He's 15-year-old Jacob Lofland of Yell County, selected out of some 2,000 boys who auditioned for the role.

From the "Mud" press team's statement:

"Lofland landed the role after his mother read a casting announcement from The Agency Inc. After reading about the character, he said, "Neckbone sounds like me." Jacob auditioned in Little Rock with Arkansas Casting Directors Sarah Tackett and Yancey Prosser and had a final audition with director Nichols in Austin, Texas, before getting the part. "We cast Jacob as Neckbone because he is Neckbone — he can run a boat, ride a dirt bike, and has the attitude of a typical 14-year-old," said Nichols. "He has immense natural instincts, and he's incredibly intelligent and quick to learn."

"Jacob is easy to work with — and talented," said McConaughey. "He's got a real identity and he's got the confidence to be himself. He's able to be natural in front of the camera."


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