Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Fox Searchlight Buys Sundance Film Hit Directed by Benh Zeitlin ’04

January 31, 2012 / Friendly URL: wesconnect.wesleyan.edu/news-20120131-benh-zeitlin

[Benh Zeitlin ’04]Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film directed by Benh Zeitlin ’04, produced by Michael Gottwald ’06, Dan Janvey ’06 and Josh Penn, and co-written by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar was warmly received when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20.

“After several days of accelerating heat, U.S. rights to Benh Zeitlin’s debut film Beasts of the Southern Wild have been acquired by Fox Searchlight. Most of the major indie distributors — The Weinstein Co., Sony Pictures Classics and Focus Features among them — sought to pick up the gritty, elliptical drama, which had its world premiere Friday at the Eccles Theatre. … Fox Searchlight will release Beasts this year.

“Developed at the Sundance Institute filmmaker labs and cast with non-professional actors, Beasts centers on Hushpuppy, a six-year-old girl who lives with her tough-love father at the edge of the water on the outside of protective levees in southernmost Louisiana. As he becomes sick and tries to prepare her for the end of the universe, mildly apocalyptic events cause the seas to rise, animals and trees to begin dying and giant, prehistoric creatures to thaw from the ice caps. As they struggle to survive with a handful of their neighbors who also refuse to leave their water-drenched home (called the Bathtub), Hushpuppy is forced to comprehend her place in the universe.”

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Image: IMDB.