New Orleans filmmaker wins big at Tribeca Film Festival for ‘Katrina Babies’ documentary

NEW ORLEANS, La. (NOLA WEEKEND) - New Orleans native and filmmaker Edward Buckles takes home two awards for his first feature-length documentary, “Katrina Babies,” which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Buckles, who is also an alumnus of Dillard University and Edna Karr High School, won the festival’s first-ever Human/Nature Award and received The Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director.

“Katrina Babies” explores the narratives of kids who experienced Hurricane Katrina and the impact of the storm’s aftermath on New Orleans youth. Buckles has worked on production for the documentary since 2015.

In a series of tweets announcing the awards, Tribeca praised the work of Buckles calling it a “profoundly moving true story.”

“He showed us the lasting trauma of children, a family and a community as they tried to survive and recover from Katrina. Edward Buckles Jr. made a beautiful and important film, we’re honored to award him the Best New Documentary Director Award,” one of the tweets said.

Earlier this year, Buckles said he was inspired to create the documentary during his time studying film and theatre as a student at Dillard University.

“Eventually, I took a documentary class, and the idea of doing a story about the current condition of New Orleans youth after the storm was just something that stood out to me,” Buckles said in an interview with Kelsey Davis on FOX 8 Morning Edition.

Buckles also said he hopes his work starts a conversation for others to join around the topic and a first step towards impact in New Orleans.

“There is no better time for this documentary to come out with the current state of what’s happening right now with our young people in New Orleans,” Buckles said in the interview.

Here’s a summary of the film posted on Tribeca’s website:

‘Katrina Babies’ is a first-person account of the short-term and long-term devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, as told by young people who were between the ages of 3 and 19 when the levees broke.

—  Tribeca

“Katrina Babies” is available to watch on Tribeca’s website until June 26. The documentary will also premiere on HBO Max this year.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.