Could Beasts Of The Southern Wild be the surprise movie hit of 2012?

Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a dramatic story which has been taking film festivals by storm. The film, which is directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, stars eight-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis in her debut appearance

Zeitlin revealed what the artistic film is about. "It was something that sort of got into my head," explained the 29-year-old filmmaker.

"I made a short film in New Orleans. It was right after Gustav and Ike and I wanted to tell a story about these communities.

“I was driving down every single road in Louisiana, going to the last towns that were sitting right on the edge, where the towns are falling into the water.

“I wanted to make a movie that celebrated the people that were holding out, tenaciously fighting for their land and their homes, who were refusing to leave.

“I wanted to make a fable, a folk tale about what it is to survive."

Despite a strong American flavour to last month’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival, U.S. films were shut out apart from Beasts of the Southern Wild – which won the Camera d'Or prize.

Actor Dwight Henry, like Wallis, is a Louisiana resident who was plucked from his obscurity with no acting experience.

He explained what winning at Cannes felt like: "It was amazing because Sundance was beautiful, we got a tremendous response.

"When we went to France, they told us the French audience is nothing like the American audience. They’re tough, they will walk out on you and things like that.

“As I am sitting in the audience, me personally, I am nervous, wondering what was going on. So when the film got over, the whole audience stood up and applauded. They wouldn't sit down for a good ten minutes, just yelling and screaming. I actually got emotional, because all the joy they felt I also felt. It amazing. That feeling right there was amazing."

The stand-out performance in the movie is without a doubt from Wallis - who has already created a strong Oscar buzz.

The film is based on the play Juicy and Delicious, in which Wallis' character is played by a boy.

"Boys are girls different," Wallis said. "Girls can be strong too because they have girls who try to bully and be strong and do whatever they can. Because of the nightmares that they had when they were little. They got bullied. They just do different things, from their feelings. They have little that love what they do, and just be as dainty as they kind. They do whatever they have to do to do things right. "

So, is she strong like her character Hushpuppy? With a smile, Wallis replied: "No. I have flabby arms."

  • Beasts Of The Southern Wild opens in the UK on October 19.

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