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No one could be blamed for missing them. With their nondescript Montegut, La., headquarters housed in an antiquated wooden warehouse behind a battered old gas station, there was little to identify the odd group of young people that cropped up in the spring of 2010. So no one minded too much when they spent a few months puttering around the yard among chunks of broken picket fence, handmade masks and thrift store clothes. Neighbors in the know said the kids were making a film, one expressing his hope that it wasn’t “another one of them swamp-thing horror movies.” Far from it. In fact, writer/director Benh Zeitlin had moved his tight-knit community of filmmakers down from New Orleans to make Beasts of the Southern Wild, the film that would take this year’s Sundance Film Festival by storm, winning Excellence in Cinematography and the Grand Jury Prize for Drama.

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