Benh Zeitlin receives the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Visual Arts tonight at a special ceremony in Washington, DC. The awards recognize and honor individuals who have exemplified innovation in a range of fields including social progress, natural and physical sciences, education, technology and youth achievement. Among the honorees are: Jack Andraka, a high school senior who has invented a way to detect a lethal type of cancer; Anne Kelly Knowles, a history enthusiast who challenges the way we look at geography and its historical influence; and Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer who has dedicated his life to giving a voice to youth behind bars. The full list of honorees can be found here.
Benh was profiled by Smithonsian.com to discuss how his unconventional approach to filmmaking.
"Beasts is Zeitlin’s feature film debut, a small miracle of deliberate outsider art that entranced and exhilarated audiences during its limited theatrical run this past summer. Unruly, unbound by studios or the usual Hollywood conventions, this paean to childhood perception and human resilience exists in its own hermetically sealed world, physically and metaphorically. Zeitlin made the movie on a $1.8 million shoestring in southern Louisiana with hand-held 16-millimeter cameras, jury-rigged sets, untrained actors and a grass-roots collective of artists from around the country. By ignoring received wisdom and gambling on his own powers of invention, he offered further proof that innovation is about breaking rules."
Congratulations to all the honorees. It is truly an honor to be recognized amongst so many amazing people who are changing the world for the better.
You can read the full article here.