Beasts of the Southern Wild Ineligible for SAG Awards

Not only is this no surprise to director Benh Zeitlin (pictured). But in the wake of today’s confirmation that Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Beasts of the Southern Wild is out of the 2012 SAG Awards running, he tells THR awards columnist Scott Feinberg that he wouldn’t have it any other way:

“Against all logic and planning, two incredible first-time actors won the lead roles in Beasts,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter via e-mail. “I’m positive they both have long and amazing acting careers in front of them.” (In other words, SAG can expect to get two new members thanks to Beasts.)

As Feinberg notes, there is a scenario for Zeitlin and Fox Searchlight to retroactively bring the movie into compliance with SAG’s Low Budget Feature Agreement. But unless the distributor can call in some major international favors, that’s unlikely, especially in time for the guild’s nominations deadline.

Beasts is the most buzzed-about film of the year precisely because it breaks every filmmaking rule. There’s also of course no guarantee that, even if eligible, the movie would have landed a prestigious Best Ensemble SAG Awards nod.

[Photo of Zeitlin at LAFF red carpet premiere: Helga Esteb/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.