'Beasts' Oscar Nominee Benh Zeitlin Teases Imaginative Follow-Up

Benh Zeitlin

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.

The director's next film follows "a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging."

After picking up an Oscar nomination for best director in January 2013 -- one of four bestowed upon his breakthrough first feature -- Beasts of the Southern Wild helmer Benh Zeitlin told The Hollywood Reporter that he had a "pile of dream movies that I've always wanted to make" and that his eventual follow-up would continue to play outside of the studio system. He wasn't kidding.

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In a short profile in the New York Times, Zeitlin teased details of his next venture, which sounds just as ethereal and out-there as Beasts was.

As the director puts it: "The new film is about a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time. It follows a friendship-love story-adventure of her and a joyous, reckless, pleasure-mongering young boy as they swirl in and out of youth and as the ecosystem around them spirals toward destruction."

According to Zeitlin, the film is being made as part of a development deal secured after the success of Beasts. Employing the same immersive shooting style as his debut, the untitled feature will follow a similarly free-flowing production schedule. 

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"We're working on it all day every day," Zeitlin says. "But as all psychotic adventures go, you know where your destination is but not how long it’s going to take to get there."

Beasts was produced by film collective Court 13 and financed by not-for-profit group Cinereach, but their involvement in the new film is unknown.

Approached for comment, a rep for Zeitlin tells THR, "Unfortunately, Benh is deep in the writing process for his next film and is not available to speak at this time."

Twitter: @misterpatches