Wednesday, April 29, 2009

JUST IN: New Project Accepted to Sundance Directors' Lab!

A momentous occasion for the Court krewe..

Court 13's current feature film project "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD" was just accepted into the Sundance Directors' Lab! This means that in June, writer/director Benh will flee to Utah from New Orleans (which is just so pleasant in the summer), to meet up with co-writer Lucy and workshop the new film with a hand-picked, top-notch, crack team of advisors/filmmakers/rocket scientists. Beautiful cinema will result.

The press release on the Sundance website gives a brief synopsis of the film:

Beasts of the Southern Wild/Benh Zeitlin (co-writer/director) and Lucy Alibar (co-writer), U.S.A.: In this epic tale, a ferocious ten-year-old girl refuses to evacuate her home in the Louisiana Delta without her dying father as the Southern Apocalypse descends upon them.

The news was also picked up here and here. This is Benh and Lucy's second time to Utah--back in January they had the opportunity to attend the Sundance Screenwriters Lab for the same project (The Screenwriters' Lab is like the Directors' Lab... but for screenwriters).

Go Court, and onward to the land of the Utes!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Road Trip: Acadiana Film Festival, and Points South

Court 13 hit the road last weekend, first spending a couple nights in lovely Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Acadiana Film Festival. Acadiana is a small but welcoming festival, celebrating local filmmakers and the rich history of the area. "GLORY AT SEA" won the prize for Best Short Film (thanks Acadiana!), but the real treat was the Cajun dance parties and getting to see a few of the other films screening at the festival. Court friend Zach Godshall premiered his new documentary, "GOD'S ARCHITECTS," about five men who each build their own beautiful, peculiar monuments to God and love... It garnered 3 thumbs up from our crew; we really cannot recommend this film highly enough. Click here for some clips from the movie.

From Lafayette, we headed southeast to do some scouting for the upcoming film. Swamps, airboats, gators, good food, and beautiful landscape abounded. A rough summation of our voyage is below.

Stay tuned for some pictures from this and earlier scouting missions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April Court 13 E-mail update

Below is our monthly e-mail update that we recently sent out. If you regularly read the blog, you may already know much of the information contained in it.

If you would like to sign up for our mailing list please go to


Apologies for the long hiatus! Especially since there have been a lot
of exciting things going on in the Court 13 empire since our last
update.... For instance!:

*In January, Benh and playwright Lucy Alibar were two of 12
screenwriters selected to take part in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab
in Utah, where they workshopped Court 13’s first feature film script
tentatively titled “BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD,” which they are
currently co-writing. The Lab gave them the opportunity to receive
mentorship from some of the industry's top screenwriters. Variety
Magazine covered Benh's trip to the lab in this nice little blurb:

*In February, much of Court 13 moved back to Louisiana to start work
on the early stages of the feature film. Part of this process
involved the launching of The Court 13 School- an after-school acting
and moviemaking class for New Orleans area children. Each of the 20
kids in the class will be featured in “Beasts of the Southern Wild."
The classes aim both to prepare them for acting in and and being on
the set of a feature film, as well as allow them to collaboratively
make their own short movie in the process. Our first classes started
last week.

*"GLORY AT SEA" has also continued its barnstorming of the film
festival circuit. In the last month the film won:

* Best Narrative Short Film at the Cinequest Film Festival in San
Jose, California

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the Florida Film
Festival in Orlando, Florida

You can always catch what we're up to, in news, photo, or video form,
at our blog:

And, we're finally on Facebook! Happy 2004! Click below to show your love:

Finally, we also wanted to take this opportunity to ask for your help with one of Court 13’s closest partners. For those of you not yet acquainted with Rooftop Films, it is a truly unique non-profit organization that works year-round not only to plan for its spectacular summer festival, but also to serve as an unparalleled resource to filmmakers, film fans, and the New York film community in general. The Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund gave the first grant to "Glory at Sea," without which it is likely we would have never made the film. Rooftop was also the first organization to jump to Benh’s aid after his terrible accident last year, and was at the forefront of the fundraising effort to help pay Benh’s medical bills.

If you value the work done by Court 13 or are as passionate as we are
about fostering and expanding the community of independent film, please
consider making a donation to Rooftop Films. (And yes, it's tax

Thanks, always, for your support,


Court 13

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of the page):

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PHOTOS: New Art Show at Colton! Work by Court 13 Artists featured!

This past Saturday, the Studio at Colton--the community arts center where Court 13 rests its mighty headquarters--had its first art show, and Court 13 was well represented.

For a half a year now, Colton has provided studio space for local artists; Saturday's event marked the first public gallery showing of the work created in and around Colton. Said art show was engineered and pulled off masterfully by Court 13's Annie Evelyn, whose own work was on display as well as that of Court 13 corps members Eliza Zeitlin, Bob Weisz, Kate Ferencz, and Z Behl.

If you look closely in the photos you might catch a glimpse of Eliza, Annie, or Z, not to mention Eliza's brother Benh, Z's roommates / Court 13 friends Lila and Charlotte, and of course one of the stars of "GLORY AT SEA," Miss Mama Jo.

The show will be up till the first week of May, so come on by and see what we're up to!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Death to The Tinman Tattoo

This is a real tattoo that a fellow in St. Louis will have on his body for the rest of his life. The tattoo depicts a scene from the Court 13 film "Death to The Tinman".


Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Glory" Floats to Victory in Florida!

"Glory at Sea" recently made a whirlwind tour of the great state of Florida, grateful to be chosen to screen at both the Sarasota Film Festival and the Florida Film Festival in Orlando.

The trip ended fortuitously, as "Glory" took home the gold at the FFF, winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short!

So long Florida, and thanks for all the oranges!