Film set in rural Louisiana ineligible at SAG - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Film set in rural Louisiana ineligible at SAG

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An image from Beasts of the Southern Wild An image from Beasts of the Southern Wild

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The independent-film hit "Beasts of the Southern Wild" will be ineligible for the Screen Actors Guild Awards because its stars were not professional actors.

Guild officials said Monday that "Beasts" was not made under provisions of the union's contracts.

The producers have until Oct. 25 to bring the film into guild compliance to become eligible for the awards, though that likely would mean paying the actors more money.

A spokesman for Fox Searchlight, which released the film domestically, said the company would not try to bring "Beasts" in line with SAG contract rules to qualify for the awards.

Director Benh Zeitlin cast locals in his film set in rural Louisiana, including his two stars, first-time actors Quvenzhane Wallis as a 6-year-old wild child, and Dwight Henry as her father.

"We appreciate and honor the spirit in which the film was produced and the way it was made," Fox Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley said in a statement. "It's truly an original."

"Beasts" is a critical darling, winning top honors at the Sundance Film Festival, so sitting out the Jan. 27 SAG Awards will not necessarily hurt its Academy Awards prospects.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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