After the Storm is a feature-length documentary film that follows the production of the musical Once on this Island 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 explores the cultural landscape of New Orleans as seen through the eyes of these teenage artists. The goal of the film — through character development and a narrative scene structure — 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 gently 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. Through their eyes, the film’s audiences can view the recent history of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina’s impact through the lens of a group of talented young people.