Two films shot in New Orleans area open in theaters

Published: Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2012 at 2:17 PM CDT
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Director Benh Zeitlin, holds up actress Quvenzhane Wallis as they accept the Grand Jury Prize...
Director Benh Zeitlin, holds up actress Quvenzhane Wallis as they accept the Grand Jury Prize Dramatic award for the film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival-AP Photo: Danny Moloshok

New Orleans, La. - Two films coming out of Hollywood South hit theaters this weekend.

The crucially acclaimed "Beasts of the Southern Wild" picked up the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January and the new Camera D'Or in Cannes.

The film, set in a mythical Louisiana bayou, is the work of 29-year-old filmmaker Benh Zeitlin.

It tell the story of a storm ravaged community through the eyes of a 6-year-old named Hushpuppy.

While not on a limited budget using non-professional actors, preview screenings around the country have packed theaters.

It opens in many theaters nationwide this weekend and premieres in New Orleans Monday.

Also opening around the country this weekend, the Tim Burton produced "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

Based on a best-selling novel, it stirs up history and science fiction in an action adventure with the 16th President as the hero.

Author and executive producer Seth Grahame-Smith says he was inspired by the explosion of interest in the vampire world. "Every bookstore I went into had a huge Lincoln display in it and next to it was a Twilight display and or a True Blood or whatever. So I began seeing vampires, Lincoln, Lincoln, vampires."

For producer Tim Burton, this project was a natural fit, "Something in my brain kind of exploded it just made me want to see it, probably because it reminded me of a movie I would have seen when I was a kid. I used to go see triple features of weird monster movies and they all kind of get mixed up in your mind."

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" was shot in and around New Orleans early last year and is playing in local theaters now.