As if it wasn’t enough that Hastings-on-Hudson native Benh Zeitlin scored four Oscar nominations for his indie hit, “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
First Lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Zeitlin to the White House this week for a screening of the film, along with actors Dwight Henry and nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who became the youngest Best Actress nominee ever for her starring role as Hushpuppy.
The visit was part of an interactive workshop that Mrs. Obama hosted for 80 middle and high school students from Washington, D.C., and New Orleans. She described the movie this way:
It shows us the strength of our communities, no matter what they look like. It shows us that those communities can give us the power to overcome any kind of obstacles. And it also tells a compelling story of poverty and devastation, but also of hope and love in the midst of some great challenges.
She added that it was “cool” that Zeitlin, his co-writer Lucy Alibar and their producers were able to teach so many important lessons in only 93 minutes.
Not every day that a first-time director goes to the White House. And not a bad boost during the crucial Oscar voting period…
Want to see more? You can watch the entire workshop here:
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