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

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 10, 2013 at 12:37PM

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. Watch my interview with Zeitlin below...
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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.

This article is related to: Sundance, Interviews, Interviews , Directors, Indies, Video, Sundance 2012, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.