With “Beasts of the Southern Wild” well-known as a successful Academy Award nominee, filmmaker Benh Zeitlin is revisiting his Louisiana roots to hold a lecture March 15 at the University.
Glen Pitre and Benh Zeitlin will hold an informational session as part of the University’s “Distinguished Lecturer” series.
Pitre and Zeitlin are both independent filmmakers with ties to Louisiana and its culture. Their lecture will cover those cultural ties as well as their respective works.
Pitre is from Lafourche Parish, which explains his interest in Louisiana culture. He is best known for “Belizaire the Cajun,” an award-winning movie set in southern Louisiana. Pitre has also earned the nickname “Father of the Cajun Cinema.”
Zeitlin moved to New Orleans in 2008 after making a short film about the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. His film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” gained national attention and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Their lecture, titled “From Belizaire to Beasts: Louisiana Folklife and Filmmaking,” will be hosted by multiple University departments.
Both Pitre’s and Zeitlin’s work focuses on wetland communities and their struggles with erosion and other coastal problems.
“I’m really excited the filmmakers are coming to LSU,” said mass communication junior Maddie Elliot. “My family was personally affected by Hurricane Katrina, so I find this extremely pertinent.”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” focuses on a coastal Louisiana community and their trials and tribulations throughout the disaster, and is told through the eyes of a young girl named Hushpuppy.
“I thought ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ was unique and really beautifully done,” said photography junior Sarah Liuzza. “Quvenzhané Wallis was amazing for a 6-year-old.”
The lecture will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the University’s Energy, Coast and Environment Building.