Reel South Shorts Episode 319 5m 45s
Cotton Plant, Arkansas grapples with steep and steady decline. Drowning in debt and immense population loss, the town faces a harsh reality: grow, or die. Mayor Willard C. Ryland, a teetotaler and deeply religious member of the Baptist church, examines his own opinions about the drug, eventually coming to see medical marijuana as the miracle that could save Cotton Plant.
About the Filmmaker
As an emerging director, Matthew recently completed campaigns for Home Depot, Iams, Citizens Bank, Rockport, and Skype. His short documentary “Cotton Plant” is playing at a number of festivals this year, including winning the Reel South Best Short Award at Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. In 2017 he was named to SHOOT Magazine's New Directors Showcase.
The focus of Matthew's work is authentic human stories. Whether documentary or fiction, he is a tireless observer of people, seeking out the heart, soul, quirks, and foibles that make for compelling film.
Matthew honed his storytelling ability as a freelance copywriter, working with a variety of A-list production companies and directors to develop both broadcast and digital advertising campaigns. He brings a feature film sensibility to his ad work, having signed with CAA as a screenwriter and set up several scripts, most notably at Universal/Focus Features. Prior to writing professionally, Matthew worked in film development for a Dreamworks-based production company.
Born in Philadelphia, Matthew now resides in the considerably better-weathered city of Los Angeles.