By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 12, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Valdosta community is welcoming a former Florida State University student and film legend this weekend.
Burt Reynolds is in town for the new RKDS Film Fest. The festival is the first of its kind in Valdosta, and is hosted by Reynolds himself.
The film festival is dedicated to showing the significance South Georgia has on the film industry and how to keep it growing.
The film star was honored at a special ceremony Thursday. Mayor John Gayle declared July 12, 2018 Burt Reynolds Day in the City of Valdosta. Reynolds was also given a key to the city.
As host of the festival, Reynolds is helping to put South Georgia on filmmakers' marquee, and inspiring young people to keep pursuing their dreams. He said what's most important is to love what you do.
"This is a business where if you don't like it, it'll get rid of you real fast. But if you love it, people start to see how much you love it, how much you give to it. Give to the young people. Do everything you can to be out there," Reynolds said.
The film festival is going on all weekend at Mathis Auditorium. It will feature several Burt Reynolds films, as well as world premieres from local filmmakers.
The festival kicks off Thursday with Smokey and the Bandit. A full schedule can be found here.