Major motion picture to be filmed in Clinton _lowres

Advocate staff photo by Stephanie Warren -- The East Feliciana courthouse in Clinton will be the setting of the movie "Free State of Jones." The movie is set to begin filming in May.

Known for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks, Clinton has caught the attention of film industries for decades. Beginning in May, the East Feliciana Parish courthouse will be the setting for the major motion picture “The Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey, casting director Brent Caballero said in a news release.

“The Free State of Jones,” based on a true story, is set during the Civil War and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight and his armed rebellion against the Confederacy, according to the news release.

Opposed to both slavery and secession from the Union, Knight, played by McConaughey, launched an uprising of poor white farmers that led Jones County, Mississippi, to secede from the Confederacy, creating a “Free State of Jones.”

Knight’s relationship and postwar marriage to a former slave, Rachel Knight, effectively established the region’s first mixed-race community, the release states.

Caballero said they will be hiring locals for extras in the film.

“We encourage locals to come out and be a part of this great thing for their community,” Caballero said.

Anyone interested in being a part of the filming can email a submission to

Submissions should include a current photograph.

Clinton Mayor Lori Bell said the filming in Clinton will enhance tourism and bring revenue to the town.

“Our town’s rich history of antebellum and Victorian-designed buildings is definitely an asset to a movie such as this,” Bell said.