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Sundance 2012: ‘Beasts’ wins producer fellowship

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Already the talk of the Sundance Film Festival, the dramatic competition film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” received more good news on Sunday, as the film’s producers won the first fellowship prize presented by the Sundance Institute and the independent film company Indian Paintbrush.
The inaugural award for producers Dan Janvey and Josh Penn carries a $10,000 grant and was presented at a lunch ceremony Sunday. The money is intended to “support the development, pre-production, post-production, distribution and/or marketing” of a film project.

Directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts” is now the focus of interest from several potential distributors, including the top specialized film company, Fox Searchlight. Set in a remote, impoverished outpost off the Louisiana coast, “Beasts” focuses on a young girl named Hushpuppy and her dying father. The film is populated with nonprofessional actors and features a post-apocalyptic plot involving mythical beasts.

“‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ is a daring, original film that represents the best of American independent cinema,’ Indian Paintbrush, which acquired the Sundance title “Like Crazy” at last year’s festival, said in a statement. The production company praised the film for its “profound soul that challenges the way we think about our world.’

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— John Horn


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