‘Katrina Babies’ Documentary Teaches NSU Student Filmmakers How to Share Their Trauma

New Orleans Native Edward Buckles Jr. visited Northwestern State University to screen his award-winning documentary, ‘Katrina Babies’.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the exclusive look into how the documentary impacted the Natchitoches community.


Hurricane Katrina devastated the City of New Orleans decades ago, but an entire generation is still being affected by the tragedy.

Writer and Director of ‘Katrina Babies’ Documentary Edward Buckles Jr. spent seven years documenting the stories of his peers who survived the storm as children.

“Specifically, when I was a child, I would see unjust things happening, but I never knew what I could do to change it so me having the audacity to make this film was just me looking around my community and not being pleased with it and not being happy about it, but also knowing that it could be different.”


His desire is to influence young filmmakers to create their own stories.

“This is the voice of a younger generation. This is the voice of the children who experienced Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and this was an example of when they say: ‘If you see something you don’t like, say something or change it.’”


NSU Associate Professor of New Media and Journalism Melody Gilbert invited him to share his success with her students.

“I hope that he inspired my students to believe in themselves and know that they have stories that they can also tell.”


By attending the screening, students can learn the process of making a documentary with little to no budget.

NSU Film Student Kelsie Campbell says, “We’re going to show pieces of our own documentary that we’re working on right now and I’m super excited to have him watch mine and I was editing it just last night and I was really nervous.”


NSU students can use his advice and knowledge to share their stories.

NSU Journalism Student Lia Portillo says, “I’m excited to see someone from Louisiana be a filmmaker and make it into the business because of something that he experienced and bring more coverage on the climate issues that happened in Louisiana but also the trauma that we don’t really talk about.”


With this film, it gave audience members the courage the share their past trauma.

Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts High School Student Kayleigh Dewberry says, “I just wanted to say that this really touched me, just like she was saying because I lived in New Orleans for 6 years. I moved there when I was six with my mother and my mother had to in fact go to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit because she was in the military. She joined in 2000.”


NSU Instructor Brittany Broussard responded to the film by saying, “For a lot of New Orleans people, hurricane coming, okay, we can afford to evacuate, it’s three days, you take three days’ worth of stuff, but it just brought me back to watching as the water was rising and realizing my city gone.”


With his documentary, he hopes to inspire filmmakers to pursue their dreams.

“I think I got the idea when I was 20 but all the data came from when I was child growing up in New Orleans so this is a labor of a young person who just wanted to seek change in his community and if I could just serve as an example, I’ve done my job.”


Buckles will also meet with students in Gilbert’s classes to share his film knowledge.

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