In filmmaking, the name Werner Herzog is legendary. His films like Nosferatu the Vampyre and Rescue Dawn, documentaries like Grizzly Man along with his distinctive voice and musings on life. Every few years he hosts Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School for a select group of around 65 filmmakers that he hand picks based on a film submission and an essay. He last held it in Los Angeles in 2014. This year, Little Rock filmmaker Justin Nickels has been chosen to attend, but he has to fundraiser first.
“I applied on a whim, never really expecting to be accepted, because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from a living legend,” said Nickels. “I sent my film The Dealer’s Tale and hoped for the best, but I was just excited to know that Werner Herzog himself would see something I directed. It didn’t matter if I got in.”

Luckily for Nickels, he made the cut.

Calling it a film school is a bit misleading as it is actually an intensive dialogue with Werner Herzog himself in a small setting. Their website states, “The focus of the seminars will be a dialogue with Werner Herzog, in which the participants will have their voice with their projects, their questions, their aspirations.”  To prepare students for Rogue Film School, he has included a required reading and viewing list featuring Virgil’s Georgics and Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, as well as a few others.

Nickels added, “I’m excited to continue my film education through this experience because Werner Herzog has had a filmmaking career like no other and the idea of hearing what he’s learned from it all was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’m still freaking out about getting in. It’s amazing. Werner Herzog directed two of my favorite films – Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Stroszek. Both create an amazing sense of reality and each time I watch them I feel like I’m learning something more, so to be learning directly from him is a huge honor.”

To help Justin attend Herzog’s film school, click here.