Quvenzhané Wallis becomes youngest ever lead actress Oscar nominee

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis received an Oscar nomination for her leading role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, making her the youngest performer to ever be nominated in the leading actress category.

Auditioning for the lead role when she was only 5 years old, Quvenzhané was 6 when filming began in 2010 in Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, not too far from her hometown of Houma, Louisiana.

Beasts of the Southern Wild was Quvenzhané’s first time acting.  In the moving role, she plays a “little girl with a wild imagination struggling to survive in the southern Delta with her ailing father as a storm approaches.”

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Another first-time actor, Dwight Henry, played the role of her father in the film.

Beasts of the Southern Wild won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the Sundance Independent Film Festival and won the Camera d’Or for best first film at the Cannes Film Festival.

This films marks Benh Zeitlin’s directorial debut, who also received an Oscar nomination for best director.

Wallis will be competing for the best actress trophy alongside heavy hitters like Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.