Special Screenings
Traveling Festival

Trouble in the Water

(96 minutes) USA
Directors/Producers: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Trouble the Water tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It's a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. Trouble the Water opens the day before Katrina makes landfall, just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that tourists know. Kimberly Rivers Roberts is turning her video camera on herself and her 9th-Ward neighbors trapped in the city. It's her first time shooting video and it's rough and jumpy, but dense with reality. Kim's playful home-grown newscast tone grinds against the audience's knowledge that hell is just hours away. There is no way for the audience to warn her. And for New Orleans' poor, there is nowhere to run. As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film, documenting their harrowing voyage to higher ground and dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors.

Tia Lessin is director and producer of Trouble the Water, her feature debut. Tia also directed and produced the documentary short Behind the Labels in partnership with Peter Gabriel's human rights group Witness. She was awarded the Sidney Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism for this film about labor trafficking of Chinese and Filipina women garment workers. Tia was a producer of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, winner of the Palme d'Or, and Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine. Her other film credits include line producer on Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and coordinating producer on The Big One. She began her film career as associate producer of Charles Guggenheim's Oscar-nominated Shadows of Hate.

Carl Deal was the Archival Producer for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, and has contributed to many other documentaries, including Sundance Festival favorites Murderball and God Grew Tired of Us, and John Pilger's recent The War on Democracy. He previously worked as an international news producer and has reported from natural disasters and conflict zones throughout the U.S., Latin America and Iraq. Carl graduated from Columbia University's School of Journalism, which awarded him the Sanders Social Justice Prize. Carl has authored reports for Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Public Citizen.

Contact Information:
Nadja Tennstedt
Zeitgeist Films Ltd.
247 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013
Web site:
©2008 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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