FILE - This June 25, 2012 file photo shows Benh Zeitlin, director and co-writer of the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild," arriving at the premiere of the movie at the Joy Theater in New Orleans. Zeitlin has been named the New Orleans Film Society's "Celluloid Hero" for his Louisiana-made indie film released in theaters nationwide this summer. The honor is bestowed to film industry stand-outs who have made significant contributions to the art of making films. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, file)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - 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.
Director Benh Zeitlin cast locals in his film set in rural Louisiana, including his two stars, first-time actors Quvenzhane (kwah-VAHN'-jah-nay) Wallis as a 6-year-old wild child, and Dwight Henry as her father.
"Beasts" is a critical darling, winning top honours at the Sundance Film Festival, so sitting out the Jan. 27 SAG Awards will not necessarily hurt its Academy Awards prospects.