For Fox Searchlight, which releases Beasts of the Southern Wild on Wednesday, the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival could not have worked out any better.
Benh Zeitlin’s acclaimed apocalyptic drama, a multiple prize winner at both Cannes and Sundance, generated another swamp load of positive buzz during the downtown event’s first weekend and has now added LAFF’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. There is no doubt this New Orleans-minted master work will roll on as the summer’s dominant indie theatrical release.
Also celebrating LAFF Audience Awards are Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore (Best Documentary Feature, Birth Story: Ina Mary Gaskin and the Farm Midwives), Malik Bendjellou (Best International Feature, Searching for Sugar Man), Bryan Buckley (Best Short Film, Asad) and Lex Halaby (Best Music Video, Piranhas Club: Man Man). Buckley is from South Africa, but his short, in Somalian with subtitles, is all about a little boy in the war-torn country. It previously won the Best Narrative Short award at Tribeca.