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2012 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Behn Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild

Gist: Winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury prize, along with a cinematography kudo for Ben Richardson, Behn Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild is based on friend Lucy Alibar’s stage play “Juicy and Delicious,” and centers around pint-sized heroine Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) who is deep and standing tall in the eye of the storm. Featuring a crew of non-actor professionals, the fable/fantasy set in the Bayou, at times certainly reads like a parable of a pre and post-Katrina America.

Prediction: In previous years, the likes of Martha Marcy May Marlene, Take Shelter, Blue Valentine, Humpday and Precious have followed a trajectory that began in the snowy backdrop of Park City, and four months later washed up on the south of France’s shoreline. In bypassing Berlin and other Spring set U.S film festivals, the Fox Searchlight folk are basically looking to showcase Benh Zeitlin’s debut internationally and build a bit more some buzz before the June 29th theatrical release. Look for a berth in the Un Certain Regard section, with the Critics’ Week sidebar as a back-up alternative.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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