NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- "Beasts of the Southern Wild" director Benh Zeitlin is working on his next film — a Louisiana-made fable about a hidden ecosystem where the aging process is "out of whack" and people can age quickly or very slowly.

Zeitlin's first film, "Beasts," took awards at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals this year. Zeitlin says he would like to use the same production team and cast in the new, yet-to-be-titled project.

The news comes as Zeitlin prepares to receive the New Orleans Film Society's "Celluloid Hero" award, an honor bestowed to industry standouts who have made significant contributions to the art of making films.

Zeitlin will be recognized Thursday at the society's patron party and gala, the main fundraiser for the New Orleans Film Festival, which is Oct. 11-18.