Oscar-nominated “Beasts” gives Wesleyan a feather in its cap

Connecticut’s Wesleyan University must be feeling some pride today.

A trio of graduates, Benh Zeitlin, Michael Gottwald and Dan Janvey, are behind the independent film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” It is one of nine films that has earned an Academy Award nomination for best picture. It was among the nominees announced Thursday, which also included “Lincoln,” “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Zeitlin is also up against Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Michael Haneke (“Amour”) in the directing category. Nine-year old Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays the young lead in the movie, was nominated for best actress.

You can see how they do when the 85th annual awards ceremony is broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Christina Hennessy