11 Facts About Benh Zeitlin


Benjamin Harold Zeitlin is an American filmmaker, best known for writing and directing the 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild, for which he received two Academy Award nominations.


Benh Zeitlin was born in Manhattan and raised in Sunnyside, Queens, New York, and in suburban Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.


Benh Zeitlin is a graduate of Hastings High School and Wesleyan University.


Benh Zeitlin was born to writers and folklorists Mary Amanda Dargan and Steven Joel Zeitlin, who founded the NYC non-profit cultural organization City Lore.


In 2004, Benh Zeitlin co-founded the Court 13 independent collection of filmmakers, named after a neglected Wesleyan University squash court that he and his friends had once commandeered as a filming location.


Benh Zeitlin was given a Humanitarian Award for his work on the film at the Satellite Awards 2012.


Notably, Benh Zeitlin both directed Beasts of the Southern Wild and co-composed the score.


Benh Zeitlin won a Humanitas Prize, amongst other awards.


Benh Zeitlin has received two nominations at the 85th Academy Awards: Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and the film itself was nominated for Best Picture.


In 2019, it was revealed that Benh Zeitlin was directing his next feature Wendy in Montserrat, an island south of Antigua.


Benh Zeitlin was the 2012 recipient of Smithsonian magazine's American Ingenuity Award in the Visual Arts category.