Benh Zeitlin

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Benh Zeitlin began his career as a filmmaker at the tender age of 6 when he and a friend made their own Batman film. He continued making films growing up before attending Wesleyan University, where he majored in film. After graduating, he helped start the Court 13 independent filmmaking collective and moved to New Orleans where he made short film, such as GLORY AT SEA (2008), following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the city. His debut film, BEASTS OF A SOUTHERN WILD (2012), co-written with Lucy Alibar, was critically praised and awarded with the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Camera d’Or and the International Critics’ prize at Cannes. We will focus our discussion on Zeitlin’s debut. What inspires the 29 year old filmmaker? What drove him to create this particular film, narrated by a little girl? We will ask him about his artistic vision; the symbolism, the archaic imagery and the music he chose to convey the spirit of freedom in the film.