Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 33 mins

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In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Quvenzhane Wallis

Crew: Benh Zeitlin (Director), Ben Richardson (Director of Photography), Benh Zeitlin (Music Director), Dan Romer (Music Director)

Genres: Drama, Fantasy

Release Dates: 19 Oct 2012 (India)

Tagline: Discover the most MAGICAL film of the year

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as Wink
as Jean Battiste
as Hushpuppy
as LZA
as Miss Bathsheba
as Open Arms Babysitter
as Peter T
as Sgt. Major
as Joy Strong
as The Cook
as T-Lou
as Baby Hushpuppy
as Walrus
as Boy with Bell
as Little Jo
as Dr. Maloney





Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Designer
Foley Artist
Sound Effects Editor
Sound Re-recording Mixer


Production Designer
Art Director
Set Decorator

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist

Special Effects

Special Effects Coordinator


Stunt Coordinator

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Artist
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Datasat Digital Sound, Dolby Digital, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 (Flat), 2.35 : 1
Discover the most MAGICAL film of the year
"Il film che ha incantato il mondo" [IT]
¡Sin duda la mejor película del año! [MX]
When Hushpuppy places the Michael Jordan jersey on her sleeping father the shot is reversed - the number 23 is backwards.

During the height of the hurricane scene, Wink challenges the storm, with his rifle, as a means of comforting Hushpuppy and alleviating her fears. While he is outside in the hurricane winds and rain, only the trees in his immediate vicinity are violently moving. Trees in the background (perhaps beyond the reach of a wind fan) are perfectly still.

Hushpuppy is sharing food with her dad, but she has crumbs on the corners of her lips already.

When Hushpuppy's dad poured drinks for him and Hushpuppy, he placed the plastic container cup in front of him and a cup with handle for Hushpuppy. Hushpuppy is seen drinking from the cup with handle, but the next shot her dad is drinking from Hushpuppy's cup, and then the next shot is the plastic container cup, then the one with handle again.
Dwight Henry, who plays Wink, owned and operated the bakery across the street from the space from which the crew was working and casting. Director Benh Zeitlin posted a casting flyer with tearaway numbers in Dwight's bakery and, after several weeks, invited Dwight over for a read. Two days later, Dwight moved his shop to a larger space, and when the crew went looking for him to ask for a call back, no one could figure out where he went. Two months later, they located him, but he turned down the offer, as he was investing all his time in the new bakery. Finally, every single person involved with the film at that point showed up at his bakery at the same time and told him he had to do the movie. Dwight agreed, as long as they rehearsed with him during his midnight baker's hours.

With the announcement of the 2012 Academy Award (Oscar) nominations on January 10, 2013, Quvenzhané Wallis became the youngest person ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar (at age 9). She broke the record of the previous youngest-ever Best Actress nominee, Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for Whale Rider at age 13. The same day that Wallis became the youngest-ever Best Actress nominee, Emmanuelle Riva (age 85) became the oldest-ever Best Actress nominee for her role in Amour (2012).

When Wink reaches down in the river to show Hushpuppy how to catch a fish with his bare hand, a member of the production crew almost died swimming under water to facilitate this "fishing" feat.

The mystical or mythical beasts which Hushpuppy "sees" throughout the film are called AUROCHS, and occasionally URUS. Aurochs are an extinct ancestor of the bovine (cows, oxen) family of mammals, with the last Auroch dying in 1627, and which inhabited forests of North Africa, Europe, and parts of Southwest Asia. It was oxen like in appearance, with longer forward facing curved horns, and is thought to be one of the ancestors of modern cattle.

On the film's very first day of shooting in the fictional "Bathtub" location outside of New Orleans, the BP oil rig explosion and the start of the massive spill occurred. For most of the shoot in nearby waters, Benh Zeitlin and his crew had to maneuver in and around the clean-up operations.

Benh Zeitlin gives considerable credit to Qulyndreia Wallis, mother of the movie's six-year-old star Quvenzhané Wallis who was always on the set and helped Zeitlin explain concepts and draw emotions from her daughter to maximize the quality of her Oscar-nominated performance.

The movie was financed, with a reported budget of $1.3 million, by New York-based nonprofit Cinereach and was the first feature-length project of Court 13 Pictures.

When Oprah Winfrey featured "Beasts" in a one-hour TV show, Oprah revealed that it was President Barack Obama who first told her about the movie.

More than half of the cast hails from Louisiana bayou country, including the film's star Quvenzhané Wallis, and five others in speaking roles.

The film is based on a one-act play called "Juicy and Delicious" by playwright and actress Lucy Alibar, who also makes a cameo appearance in the movie, which she co-wrote with friend and director Benh Zeitlin.

The film won the Mejor Largometraje Ópera Prima Internaciónal (Best International Debut Feature) award at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, which was held in July 2012, along with the New Horizon/Special Jury Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in October.

Quvenzhané Wallis and her mom admit that they fibbed about Quvenzhané's age, claiming she was at least six years old, as required to audition, when she was only five. According to director Benh Zeitlin, Nazie, as she is called, beat out almost 4,000 other area kids considered for the lead role.

Shares many thematic connections to Court 13's earlier short film Glory at Sea (2008). Both deal with a ravaged community beset by storms. Both reference Greek myth including "Elysian Fields" and are contain fantastic elements in an otherwise very "real" narrative, otherwise known as magic realism. Also the character of Sergeant Major, played by Jimmy Lee Moore appears in both films in a significant role.

Originally, in its Sundance workshop phase , there was no formal script for "Beasts," and co-writers Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar shared "a moment of panic" when they quickly had to combine two separate ideas for the film into one that would work. In the process, they abandoned the idea that the story would be some type of "fable comedy."

The movie was sold to Fox Searchlight Pictures for about $2 million.

As part of a 'Celebrate Brooklyn' event, the movie was screened in the New York City borough's Prospect Park band shell with a local orchestra playing the soundtrack, along with the score's composing duo Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer in August 2013.

The film was a 2009 June Screenwriters and Directors Lab participant, a 2010 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award winner, and was officially selected for the US and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The 65-member film crew included two residents of south Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, where most of the filming took place: Mike Arcenauax, who helped with special equipment (especially boats), and Barbara Dupre in catering.

The film was the recipient of two San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation grants--first in 2010 and again in 2011.

The film won the Sundance Institute's Indian Paintbrush Producer's Award at the annual Producers' Lunch in 2012, the accompanying $10,000 grant going to Josh Penn and Dan Janvey.

Director Benh Zeitlin revealed in a June 22, 2012, interview with HitFix that he never looked at dailies until after the shoot was finished.

"Beasts" was truly a collaboration of director Benh Zeitlin 's circle of family and friends. He was assisted on set by his sister, artist Eliza Zeitlin, and the movie was co-produced by fellow Wesleyan grads Michael Gottwald and Dan Janvey. Zeitlin's hometown neighbor from Westchester county, NY, Crockett Doob--son of filmmaker Nick Doob--contributed as the movie's editor and longtime New York City-area friend Dan Romer co-wrote the music with Zeitlin.

French visa # 134966.

Motion Picture Association of America® No. 47448.

Toward the end of the movie, Hushpuppy arranges with a small-boat captain to transport her to a floating bar that also appears to be a brothel. A sign identifies the name of the brothel as "Elysian Fields." In Greek Mythology, "Elysium" or "Elysian Fields" was the name for the afterlife of the gods and blessed mortals. Greek mythology also contained a boatman (named Charon) who ferried souls from the world of the living to the world of the dead for a small fee. Aside from the references to ancient myth, the name "Elysian Fields" also is a reference to the movie's southern Louisiana setting. Elysian Fields is the name of a major avenue and thoroughfare in New Orleans, and is a part of one of Blanche DuBois's first lines in Tennessee Williams's New Orleans-set play, "A Streetcar Named Desire": "They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at--Elysian Fields!"