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AFTER THE STORM, a doc competition film at the LA Film Fest that focuses on a group of displaced teens in post-Katrina New Orleans as they audition and rehearse for a production of "Once On This Island", the hurricane-themed hit Broadway musical. It's the second doc feature for Hilla Medalia, who won a Peabody last year for her three-time Emmy-nominated HBO documentary, To Die In Jerusalem.

Almost three years ago, on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, composer and actor, Randy Redd, went to New Orleans with Academy Award-winning writer James Lecesne, actor and director Gerry McIntyre and filmmaker Hilla Medalia (TO DIE IN JERUSALEM). With the help of countless dedicated friends and generous artists in New York and the resilient people of New Orleans the team reopened the St. Mark's Community Center and staged Lynn Ahren's and Stephen Flaherty's musical Once On This Island with local students, musicians and young artists.

AFTER THE STORM is the feature-length documentary film that follows the production of the musical Once On This Island at St. Mark's from auditions through performances and also includes the story of each young actor's life in the wake of Katrina. The focus is not on rescues, evacuations and losses, but on survival, hopes and dreams. The film opened the LA Film Festival in July and will premiere in New York on October 5th.

The film explores the cultural landscape of New Orleans as seen through the eyes of these teenage artists. The goal of the film is to create an emotional and entertaining storytelling experience that celebrates the spirit and culture of New Orleans at a specific point in history. AFTER THE STORM depicts a unique American city and how it is beginning to piece itself back together. The film also explores how art can be used as a tool for healing and growth and the power a community wields by sharing its story, locally and beyond. Filmmaker Hilla Medalia explores the young actors' daily lives, how they are coping with a struggling school system, limited job opportunities and the loss of family members and friends. Visit for more information. 


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