Is the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” filmmaker an interloper?

At 30, Benh Zeitlin has been one of the year’s most-discussed directors. His first film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a story of a journey to semi-maturity undertaken by a motherless young girl in a mystical reimagining of the American South, has been widely acclaimed since its screening at Sundance in January. It was released in June, and is now considered a contender in several Oscar categories, including best picture, best adapted screenplay (Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar adapted the script from her play “Juicy and Delicious”), and best actress for preteen lead Quvenzhané Wallis. We spoke to Zeitlin about his own migration from New York to New Orleans (he moved South full-time in 2006) and casting roles for the fantastical “Bathtub” in which his characters reside.You’ve talked about, in other interviews, having moved to New Orleans from New York. What’s the point at which you felt as though you could say you were from there? Or are you still working toward that?I do work toward that, but that never happened. I feel like I belong there, you know? But I’m always going to be this kid from New York who moved to New Orleans, you don’t just become a native New Orleanian, you know, it doesn’t happen. I’m like a transplant. That’s my official title in New Orleans. But it feels like home.Continue Reading…

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Is the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” filmmaker an interloper?

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