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On the set of "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

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MONTEGUT, La.- The locally-shot "Beasts of the Southern Wild" did not win any Oscars Sunday night, but the four nominations it received are enough to keep people in Louisiana talking about the independent film.

Much of the Oscar attention was paid to 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest actress ever nominated for an Academy Award. People who live in Montegut, the small town south of Houma where the film was shot, said the landscape and environment also played just as big a role in the film.

"We were working with people who had never acted before, and once you meet the people who are going to play the character it changes the character completely and whatever is in the screenplay gets thrown away," said Eliza Zeitlin, the sister of Benh Zeitlin who was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay and directing.

The movie used pieces of Montegut and the local flavor to develop their sets.

"When they saw this junk, they knew what they wanted to do with it," said Claud Bourg, who rented out his land to the film. "It was unbelievable the expression on their face, how they went wild over this stuff!"

Though it didn't win in any of the categories it was nominated for, the film will be featured at a museum exhibit in New Orleans beginning in March.


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