From Belizaire to Beasts: Louisiana Folklife and Filmmaking

Date: 03/15/2013 (Runs through 03/15/2013)
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location:Dalton J. Woods Auditorium (Room 1001), Energy, Coast, and Environment Building
Type: Special Event

A Conversation with Glen Pitre and Benh Zeitlin


On Friday, March 15, 2013, two award-winning independent filmmakers will talk about their work and its roots in Louisiana folk culture. In their films, Glen Pitre (Belizaire the Cajun, Haunted Waters, Fragile Lands, The Scoundrel’s Wife) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Glory at Sea) both depict wetlands communities whose traditional ways of life are threatened by coastal erosion and other forces. Their informal lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the LSU Department of English, the Program for the Study of Film and Media Arts, the School of the Coast and Environment, and the Louisiana Folklore Society. It will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium (Room 1001), LSU’s Energy, Coast, and Environment Building.



Benh Zeitlin is a 30-year-old independent filmmaker, composer, and animator living in New Orleans. His first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), is a story of survival and tenacity in a slowly sinking coastal Louisiana community. The film has received international won numerous awards and been nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Critics have called Beasts a masterpiece, an “explosion of joy” and “sheer poetry on the screen.” Son of two prominent New York City folklorists, Zeitlin is a graduate of the film program at Wesleyan University and founder of the Court 13 independent filmmaking collective. He moved to New Orleans in 2008 while making his first short film, Glory at Sea, about the tenacity of Hurricane Katrina survivors.


Glen Pitre is a Lafourche Parish native who worked his way through Harvard University by shrimping each summer. By age 25, he had been dubbed “father of the Cajun cinema” by American Film magazine when his French-dialect gumbo westerns created the first real Cajun ethnic cinema. Pitre’s first English-language feature, Belizaire the Cajun, was an award-winning story of 19th-century south Louisiana. Since then, his work has gained him many awards, including an honorary doctorate, a knighthood from France, and recognition as a legendary American regional director. Other films include The Scoundrel’s Wife and award-winning documentary films such as American Creole; Good for What Ails You; Willie Francis Must Die Again; and Fragile Lands, Haunted Waters.


For a larger view download a poster of the event.


Sponsors: LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences,  LSU Department of English LSU Program for the Study of Film and Media Arts LSU School of the Coast and Environment, & Louisiana Folklore Society