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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin on the Oscar nominations

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Beasts of the Southern Wild drew four Oscar nominations, as reported by Ken Korman here. Writer/director Benh Zeitlin and the creators are in Los Angeles to attend the Critics Choice awards tonight. They will then go to the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

The film has drawn nominations and won a host of awards. A full list is available on the film's blog.

Zeitlin will attend premieres in several European nations before returning to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards. He offered a few quick reactions to the Oscar nominations from Los Angeles this afternoon.

Gambit: What was your reaction to the individual nominations?
Benh: I was in a total wave of shock. We weren’t expecting to get anything. We got no nominations for the Golden Globes. You don’t know if a film made completely outside the industry would get accepted inside the film industry. … I was hoping we’d get at least one nomination and get to go [to the award ceremony].

G: Did any of the nominations stick out?
B: I was so proud to see Quvenzhane [Wallis] get her nomination. That’s history. She [was] 6 years old — the youngest person ever to get nominated for best actress. I don’t know how many times a kid from Houma gets a chance to act in a film and gets the chance to be a best actress nominee.

G: You weren’t surprised that Beasts was nominated for best picture?
B: I think that by the time they got to best picture we were totally crazy. It seemed that after Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, momentum was building.

G: What does this mean for Beasts?
B: Hopefully it will spread to more filmgoers. Anyone who appreciates movies looks to the Oscar awards.

G: What does this mean for independent filmmakers?
B: I hope this forges space for more independent films. It’s one thing to have an idea for a film. Industry people want to know if you can explain it in two words — if you can say it’s Star Wars meets Anaconda, or something meets The Notebook. This film had none of that. They didn’t recognize anyone associated with it. Now, hopefully there’s more space for independent film makers.

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