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His breakthrough debut feature won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance in January -- a milestone that kick-started a near-mania swell of interest in the moody-fantastical bayou drama. Fox Searchlight has positioned Zeitlin, 30 (a Wesleyan graduate and New Orleans native) and the film as prime awards contenders.
INDUSTRY MENTOR: Nick Doob, father of my friend Crockett Doob. He let us use his Avid and helped Crockett direct the film Batman: The Movie, in which I played Superman. We were 6. Crockett is still editing my movies today.
BIG BREAK: I broke my pelvis and hip in a car accident in 2008. The insurance settlement helped me pay off the $40,000 I owed from making my short film Glory at Sea.
10 YEARS FROM NOW: I hope to be making a film entirely offshore. No one would set foot on land throughout principal photography.
CAN'T-MISS TV: NFL football. Every Sunday. And Thursday. And Monday.
MOVIE FIX: Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I'm a supporter of films with heroes who defend the tenants of debauchery and joy.
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