Benh Zeitlin is a filmmaker and composer who is best known for his 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zeitlin grew up in New York but had family roots in the South. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2004, he moved to Louisiana to work on his first film, the short Glory at Sea (2008). He stayed in Louisiana and made Beasts on a shoe-string budget, using amateur actors to tell the story of a young girl and her father in a flood-ravaged community cut off from the rest of society. The film was shown at the Sundance film festival and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. It also brought four Oscar nominations, including for best picture and, for Zeitlin, best director.
Benh Zeitlin co-wrote the script and music for Beasts of the Southern Wild.