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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s not every day you get to meet a movie star in Alabama. On Friday, people in the Shoals had the chance to speak with Myk Watford, a Russellville native who starred in the 2021 film, “Respect.”

Watford played Rick Hall in the film about the life of Aretha Franklin, and News 19 got a one-on-one with the actor about his upcoming movie.

As part of the George Lindsey Film festival, Watford, an actor, producer, and director, held a Q&A and also debuted a trailer for his newest film “Sweetwater Road,” which is set in the Shoals.

“We’ve got footage from all of the studios in Muscle Shoals,” Watford said. “We’re trying to sneak in all of these little Muscle Shoals Easter eggs throughout the film. We want this to be unapologetically set in Muscle Shoals so that everyone knows where we are.”

The film follows the story of a father whose son has been wrongfully arrested. It was almost entirely filmed in the Shoals and the cast includes several students from the University of North Alabama’s Cinematic Arts and Theatre programs. Watford says with this film, he hopes to start building a true film industry in North Alabama.

“We’re trying to create a film presence,” Watford told News 19. “We’re trying to make Muscle Shoals a destination to film, and you know, this is just a very small step in that direction.”

When the film is ready to premiere, it will be screened at the Shoals Theater in downtown Florence. Watford says this is just the beginning of what he hopes to do here in the Shoals.