The director of Beasts Of The Southern Wild, the Sundance grand jury dramatic prizewinner that has just been announced in the Un Certain Regard line-up, will collect the honour during the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival on Apr 26.

The award is named after the late executive director of the San Francisco Film Society who died of cancer aged 51 last August.

The Graham Leggat Award honours Leggat and the Film Society’s support of filmmakers through its Filmmaker360 programmes.

“Benh Zeitlin, one of the many filmmakers whom the Film Society has supported, has completely captured our imaginations and enthusiasm from our first meeting with him,” San Francisco Film Society interim executive director Melanie Blum said.

“In fact, Graham was part of the original granting panel that awarded Benh one of two SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaker postproduction grants, totaling $105,000, for Beasts Of The Southern Wild.”

The San Francisco International Film Festival is scheduled to run from Apr 19-May 3.