The Beautiful, Eerie Short Film That Spawned 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

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"Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you've never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius," Roger Ebert writes in his review of Beasts of the Southern WildThe Cannes and Sundance award-winning film is so original and compelling that critics can't quite figure out where it came from. It didn't materialize from thin air, of course. The collaborative filmmaking group behind Beasts, Court 13, spent years in Louisiana scraping together a low-budget production and cast of nonprofessional actors, with spectacular results (see this Creators Project documentary for details about the making of the movie).

But before Beasts, the same team produced a 25-minute short in 2008. Also directed by Benh ZeitlinGlory at Sea features a similar coastal apocalypse and magical realism as the indie feature. Beasts gets its heart from the father-daughter story adapted from Lucy Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious, but the themes of survival and redemption in storm-ravaged coastal Louisiana already appear here. If you liked Beasts, you'll enjoy watching the genesis of the feature film in this short, and if you haven't seen it, Glory at Sea might just convince you to check it out. 

For more work by Court 13 visit http://www.court13.com/. For more films from Wholphin, visit http://www.wholphindvd.com/.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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