Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) Poster

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

  • Rate: 7.5/10 total 13,174 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 5 July 2012 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 93 min
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Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012tt2125435.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
  • Rate: 7.5/10 total 13,174 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 5 July 2012 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • Filming Location: Louisiana, USA
  • Budget: $1,800,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $11,240,985(USA)(11 November 2012)
  • Director: Benh Zeitlin
  • Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry and Levy Easterly|See full cast and crew
  • Original Music By: Dan Romer  Benh Zeitlin   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Auroch | Six Year Old | Community | Flood | Girl

Writing Credits By:

  • Lucy Alibar (screenplay) &
  • Benh Zeitlin (screenplay)
  • Lucy Alibar (stage play "Juicy and Delicious")

Known Trivia

  • More than half of the cast hails from Louisiana bayou country, including the film’s star Quvenzhan√© Wallis, and five others in speaking roles.
  • 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 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 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.
  • The film was the recipient of two San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation grants–first in 2010 and again in 2011.
  • 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 movie was sold to Fox Searchlight Pictures for about $2 million.
  • 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.
  • “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.
  • 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.

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

Plot: Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. Full summary »  »

Story: Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack, temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.Written by Sundance Film Festival  


Synopsis: In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, six year-oldHushpuppy exists on the brink of orphanhood. Her mother is long gone, and her beloved father Wink is a wildmanon a perpetual spree. When her father is home, he lives under a different roof: him in a rusted out shack, and herin a trailer propped on two oil drums. More often than not, Hushpuppy is left to her own devices on their isolatedcompound filled with semi-wild animals. She perceives the natural world to be a fragile web of living, breathing,squirting things, in which the entire universe depends on everything fitting together just right.Life in the Bathtub is one defined by resilience and celebration. But at the local elementary school(boat), Hushpuppy’s no-nonsense teacher Miss Bathsheba educates her ragtag students about natural selection, global warming, and the huge ecological shifts that have pitted their little village on the front line for extinction. Learn to live with one another, and adapt! she instructs. "Y’all better learn how to survive now…"

Reality crashes down on Hushpuppy’s little world when her father comes down with a mysterious illness, and naturebegins to spiral out of control. A massive storm brews, the ice caps melt, and her dad shakes on the ground at herfeet after a mere punch. Hushpuppy becomes convinced that the science attacking her environment and her father’sinsides are inextricably linked.

Half a world away, an unforeseen result of these sudden global shifts: fierce prehistoric beasts thaw out of the ice,righting themselves on firm ground after centuries immobile…

As the waters rise around the bayou shrimping town, all the practical people run for higher ground, but Wink andhis brigade of drunken sweethearts insist on staying put. He and Hushpuppy are forced to hole up together in Winksun-sturdy shack and ride through the hurricane, with Wink firing a shotgun into the sky, defying the forces of nature.When morning breaks, the two find a Bathtub destroyed, empty, and almost totally submerged.

Wink and Hushpuppy collect the other holdouts, and as is custom, greet their disposition with celebration insteadof remorse: they throw a party with all the shrimp, crab, and beer thats left. Miss Bathsheba kills the mood byreminding Wink that the excess of salt water in the Bathtub has likely killed all the flora and fauna that usuallyprovides them with their sustenance; they could be consuming the last the bayou has to offer. Wink takes a swig ofbeer and shrugs her off. "I got it under control". But his attempts to teach Hushpuppy to survive on her own in thischanged environment fall short; a lesson on how to fish with bare hands leaves her in pain.

The next morning, Hushpuppy is awoken by Wink and company sneaking out with a giant garfish filled withexplosives — the crackpot plan being to blow up the levee keeping all the water in, and drain out their homeland. Miss Bathsheba, the only one who understands the science of why this is a very bad idea, stops Wink, but not Hushpuppy, from executing the kamikaze scheme. The results are disastrous: the drained Bathtub, resembling, a mushy, scorched eartha land formerly bursting with plants and animals is now dead. Though Wink refuses to accept it, Hushpuppy can tell that the fabric of nature has unraveled around her, that the unending harvest of the bayou is over.

The fearsome beasts now cut looming shadows against the horizon and charge their way across continents, snarling, growling, knife sharp horns glimmering as they head south…

Soon afterwards, the government suddenly reminded of their existence, the Bathtub is subjected to a mandatoryevacuation, and men with bullhorns and strange accents whisk away Hushpuppy, Wink, and the other residents ofthe Bathtub. They are taken to a sterile, gloomy refugee camp hospital, where everyone looks as bleak as "fish in afish tank without water", according to Hushpuppy. In the care of the state, she is immediately dressed up in unnaturalfeeling "acceptable" clothes with the other unruly Bathtub kids. Confronted with his diagnosis from the doctors,Wink tries to give Hushpuppy away. Hushpuppy refuses, furious, and Wink must finally tell her the truth: he’s dying.At last, it hits Hushpuppy that her father isn’t the maniac superman she thinks he is. Out of his natural environment,he begins to cough up blood, and asks for his friends to take him to the only place he knows as home.

Unable to watch wink on his deathbed, Hushpuppy flees across the water toward a light in the distance she believesto be her mother. A mysterious boatman plucks her out of the sea and takes her to his favorite nightclub, the ElysianFields Floating Catfish Shack: "GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS". As Hushpuppy wanders this ethereal paradise, out of thekitchen steps a woman, who stares at her with eyes that look like hers. "Let me show you a magic trick", she tellsHushpuppy, who’s in awe. Whipping up some killer grits n’ gator and dishing out no-nonsense advice, she givesHushpuppy a moment of love she’s been looking for her whole life. But as they dance together, Hushpuppy realizesshe has a duty to return to her father and The Bathtub before it’s too late for both of them.

The creatures suddenly appear on the parched crest before the dried up bayou, a tiny girl in their crosshairs. Theycharge up behind her, when suddenly she swirls around to face them with eyes as fearless as theirs. They share amoment of primal understanding, and the beasts kneel before her. She goes along her way…

Back in the Bathtub, Hushpuppy shares a last supper of fried gator with Wink in his broken shack. Having reconciledwith her father and accepted nature’s chosen path, she returns to her friends and family, a hardened warrior, and they parade into the Southern Wild as water laps at their feet.

("Long Synopsis" from the Festival de Cannes press kit for Beasts of the Southern Wild).


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Chris Carroll known as co-producer
  • Philipp Engelhorn known as executive producer
  • Michael Gottwald known as producer
  • Nathan Harrison known as associate producer
  • Dan Janvey known as producer
  • Lucas Joaquin known as producer: second unit
  • Paul Mezey known as executive producer
  • Matthew Parker known as co-producer
  • Josh Penn known as producer
  • Michael Raisler known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Quvenzhané Wallis known as Hushpuppy
  • Dwight Henry known as Wink
  • Levy Easterly known as Jean Battiste
  • Lowell Landes known as Walrus
  • Pamela Harper known as Little Jo
  • Gina Montana known as Miss Bathsheba
  • Amber Henry known as LZA
  • Jonshel Alexander known as Joy Strong
  • Nicholas Clark known as Boy with Bell
  • Joseph Brown known as Winston
  • Henry D. Coleman known as Peter T
  • Kaliana Brower known as T-Lou
  • Philip Lawrence known as Dr. Maloney
  • Hannah Holby known as Open Arms Babysitter
  • Jimmy Lee Moore known as Sgt. Major
  • Jovan Hathaway known as The Cook
  • Kendra Harris known as Baby Hushpuppy
  • Roxanna Francis known as Barge Girl
  • Jay Oliver known as Hospital Patient (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Brittany Mroczek known as hair stylist
  • Carlos Savant known as makeup department head

Art Department:

  • Elizabeth Behl known as scenic artist
  • Kim Craig known as set dresser
  • Amanda Duch known as art department production assistant
  • Josh Ente known as art department pa
  • Josh Ente known as set dresser
  • Rebecca Foster known as art department assistant
  • Sam Geller known as carpenter
  • Ross Harmon known as construction
  • Martin Hartzold known as additional set dresser
  • Sophie Kosofsky known as construction coordinator
  • Chris Lane known as construction
  • Rob Leitzell known as carpenter
  • Bill Logan known as propmaster
  • Will Martin known as character concept artist
  • Elizabeth McClellan known as scenic artist
  • Elizabeth McClellan known as scenic painter
  • John McMahon known as art crew
  • Adam Morosky known as set dresser: leadman
  • Jonathan Mosca known as construction
  • Sonia Ostrovsky known as set dresser
  • Brittany Paris known as set dresser
  • Ashraf Rijal known as art department coordinator
  • Ariana Rubcic known as art crew
  • Marty Schapiro known as scenic artist
  • Tom Schopler known as set dresser
  • Joe Socket known as swing
  • Cara Stewart known as carpenter
  • Cara Stewart known as miniature artist
  • Bob Weisz known as assistant property master
  • Kalena Yiaueki known as additional scenic artist
  • Eliza Zeitlin known as featuring the art of




Production Companies:

  • Cinereach
  • Court 13 Pictures
  • Journeyman Pictures

Other Companies:

  • ARRI / Camera Service Center  camera equipment provided by
  • Academy of Art University (AAU)  visual effects company
  • DitlevFilms  credits
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Gray Krauss Des Rochers  legal services
  • Panavision  camera equipment provided by
  • Silver Screen Supply  lighting and grip equipment
  • Silver Screen Supply  location equipment/rentals
  • Silver Screen Supply  portable power systems and cables
  • Stunts Unlimited  


  • A-Film Distribution (2012) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • ARP Sélection (2013) (France) (theatrical)
  • Aerofilms (2012) (Czech Republic) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Distribution Company (2013) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2012) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures (2012) (USA) (theatrical)
  • MFA Filmdistribution (2012) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2012) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Mozinet (2012) (Hungary) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Denmark) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Estonia) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Finland) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Iceland) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Latvia) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Lithuania) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Norway) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2012) (Sweden) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Molecule (Visual Effects)
  • Space Division

Visual Effects by:

  • Anteneh Adamu known as lead compositor
  • Oliver Hussein Annexton known as animal performer
  • Chris Aran known as first assistant camera
  • Chris Armstrong known as visual effects director
  • Peter Bagley known as visual effects production assistant
  • Em Baker known as visual effects artist
  • Ryan Bauer known as lead compositor
  • Ryan Bauer known as lead digital compositor
  • Brendan Bellomo known as senior visual effects supervisor
  • Beau Biden known as animal performer
  • Drew Bienemann known as additional visual effects photography
  • Joshua Blankenship known as production assistant
  • Niall Booker known as matte painter
  • Christopher Boyd known as compositor
  • Lawrence Chandler known as compositor
  • Anwei Chen known as visual effects production manager
  • Wooyoung Choi known as compositor
  • Suk Wai Chong known as rotoscope artist
  • Mark Christiansen known as on-set visual effects advisor
  • Vanessa Cocks known as intern
  • Kate D'Alieva known as intern
  • Ken Fisk known as technical assistant
  • Rebecca Foster known as production assistant
  • Sean Gillane known as technical assistant
  • David Greber known as production assistant
  • Mansi Gupta known as compositor
  • Chris Healer known as additional visual effects
  • Robert Hura known as digital compositor
  • DaYoon Jang known as compositor
  • Shea Johns known as intern
  • Josh Jones known as compositor
  • Jwill known as animal performer
  • Hirofumi Kasagi known as particle effects artist
  • Doyoung Kim known as compositor
  • Franz Kol known as additional visual effects
  • Lenz Kol known as additional visual effects
  • Paul Korzan known as lead artist
  • Vishishth Kumar known as compositor
  • Tony Ledet known as production assistant
  • Seonyeoung Lee known as compositor
  • Minyoung Lim known as compositor
  • Lin Liu known as compositor
  • Simon Lutrin known as compositor
  • Stephen Mackenzie known as visual effects artist
  • John Mangia known as senior digital compositor
  • Charana Mapatuna known as compositor
  • Sarah Marikar known as visual effects production coordinator: Space Division
  • Ted Markovic known as additional visual effects
  • Ricardo Marmolejo known as lead compositor
  • Mike Misslin known as visual effects director of photography
  • Mona known as animal performer
  • Hannah Montana known as animal performer
  • Naren Naidoo known as compositor
  • Erin W. Nash known as digital compositor
  • Prin Nimmannitya known as compositor
  • Tommy Nocera known as intern
  • Min Kuen Oh known as compositor
  • Anuj Patil known as senior compositor
  • Lokesh Prakash known as compositor
  • Rilaina Raffety known as compositor
  • Michael Drake Ranieri known as special effects technician
  • Japhy Riddle known as visual effects art director
  • Galina Rozina known as computer lab manager
  • Sam Sarraf known as rotoscope artist
  • Aniela Sidorska known as compositing supervisor
  • Jesse Spielman known as digital compositor
  • Joshua Steele known as rotoscope artist
  • Lori Steenhoek known as compositor
  • Niel Stockstill known as special effects coordinator
  • Ying-Ying Sun known as compositor
  • Catherine Tate known as visual effects supervisor: AAU
  • Keaton Tips known as visual effects artist
  • Travis Tips known as visual effects gaffer
  • Zachary Tips known as special effects technician
  • Derek Ustruck known as production coordinator
  • Jon Vail known as production assistant (as John Vail)
  • Mark Watson known as compositor
  • Stephen Watts known as visual effects production assistant
  • Toni Weick known as second assistant camera
  • Evan Wen known as compositor
  • Jason Winady known as compositor
  • Lai Xu known as rotoscope artist

Release Date:

  • USA 20 January 2012 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • USA 1 April 2012 (New Directors/New Films)
  • France 18 May 2012 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • USA 31 May 2012 (Little Rock Film Festival)
  • USA 21 June 2012 (BAMcinemaFest)
  • USA 27 June 2012 (Los Angeles, California)
  • USA 27 June 2012 (New York City, New York)
  • Germany 30 June 2012 (Munich Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic 3 July 2012 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Israel 5 July 2012 (The Jerusalem International Film Festival)
  • Russia 5 July 2012
  • Canada 13 July 2012 (limited)
  • Ukraine 17 July 2012 (Odessa International Film Festival)
  • Poland 19 July 2012 (New Horizons Film Festival)
  • Mexico 21 July 2012 (Guanajuato International Film Festival)
  • Israel 26 July 2012
  • Czech Republic 9 August 2012
  • Puerto Rico 23 August 2012
  • France 7 September 2012 (Deauville Film Festival)
  • Australia 13 September 2012
  • Netherlands 14 September 2012 (Film by the Sea Film Festival)
  • South Africa 14 September 2012
  • Finland 20 September 2012 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Switzerland 20 September 2012 (Zurich Film Festival)
  • Hungary 21 September 2012 (Jameson Cinefest International Film Festival)
  • Spain 21 September 2012 (Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival)
  • Estonia 28 September 2012
  • Brazil 29 September 2012 (Rio International Film Festival)
  • Iceland 29 September 2012 (Reykjavík International Film Festival)
  • Greece 30 September 2012 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Poland 12 October 2012
  • UK 12 October 2012 (BFI London Film Festival)
  • Spain 13 October 2012 (Sitges Film Festival)
  • United Arab Emirates 16 October 2012 (Abu Dhabi Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 18 October 2012
  • India 19 October 2012 (Mumbai Film Festival)
  • Ireland 19 October 2012
  • UK 19 October 2012
  • Netherlands 24 October 2012 (Leiden International Film Festival)
  • Norway 26 October 2012
  • Sweden 7 November 2012 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Portugal 9 November 2012 (Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival)
  • Republic of Macedonia 24 November 2012 (Cinedays Film Festival)
  • New Zealand 29 November 2012
  • Belgium 12 December 2012
  • France 12 December 2012
  • Germany 20 December 2012
  • Switzerland 20 December 2012
  • Austria 21 December 2012
  • Denmark 3 January 2013
  • Taiwan 4 January 2013
  • Hungary 10 January 2013
  • Singapore 10 January 2013
  • Finland 11 January 2013
  • Sweden 11 January 2013
  • Spain 25 January 2013
  • Turkey 25 January 2013
  • Brazil 8 February 2013
  • Hong Kong 7 March 2013
  • Argentina 28 March 2013

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sensuality



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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