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Best Director Oscar Nominee Benh Zeitlin Talks 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' and its New Orleans Roots [Video Interview]

by Anne Thompson
January 10, 2013 12:37 PM
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Benh Zeitlin at Sundance
Benh Zeitlin at Sundance

What a year it's been for Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild." The indie has received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Actress and Addapted Screenplay.

I grabbed the director back where it all started, at Sundance last January. We talk about his runaway festival hit "Beasts of the Southern Wild," picked up by Fox Searchlight and winner of the fest's Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. The film also played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes (where it won the FIPRESCI and Golden Camera prizes) and won both the LAFF Audience Award and Seattle's Best Director and Graham Leggat Awards. The film played well in theaters beginning last June after receiving a slew of rave reviews. Needless to say, Zeitlin is smart as a tack. In the video interview below, he explains how this New Orleans dystopian adventure came to be.


  • Daniel Delago | January 14, 2013 7:27 AMReply

    I'm so tired hearing about 'Beasts of the Southern Wild.' There were so many better quality indie films in 2012. I'm still in shock he is up for a Best Director Academy Award. And Wallis' Best Actress nod is a nice gesture but not deserving of the top honor.

  • Julie | January 11, 2013 2:23 PMReply

    Great interview. Really happy about his nomination. So well deserved. Beautiful, moving, unique film. Looking forward to what he does next.

  • rgm | August 3, 2012 12:37 PMReply

    Fascinating interview about the chaos involved in -- and the "process" of-- making this remarkable film . One of your best.

  • Camara R | July 26, 2012 2:37 PMReply

    I saw the movie and it was beautiful! I got stood up at the theatre, and "Beast..." was a wonderful consolation.

  • jess | February 2, 2012 9:16 PMReply

    why don't you ever interview black people.

  • ry | January 31, 2012 4:59 PMReply

    I can't wait to see it!!!

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