SPIKE LEE RETURNS TO HBO FOR NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM EVENT, A FOLLOW-UP TO THE EMMY(R)-WINNING FILM "WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS," REVISITING NEW ORLEANS FIVE YEARS AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14, 2010 � HBO will team up with Spike Lee and 40 Acres and a Mule for a follow-up to the Emmy(R)-winning documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," it was announced today by Sheila Nevins, president, HBO Documentary Films. Lee will produce and direct the untitled film, and Sam Pollard will produce and edit. The production begins shooting tomorrow in New Orleans and debuts on HBO this summer, marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Hailed as "masterly" by the Washington Post, and "devastating" by Newsweek, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" debuted on HBO in Aug. 2006. Lee's epic portrait of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina's devastation recounted the heartbreaking stories of those who lived to tell about the disaster and focused on the triumphant spirit of New Orleans as the city rose from the depths of despair with the help of its rich cultural legacy. "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" received three Emmys(R), including Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.
" 'When the Levees Broke' was a landmark in documentary filmmaking," noted Nevins. "It's an exciting notion to anticipate Spike going back for this reprise."
"Producer-editor Sam Pollard and I are elated to return to New Orleans, Louisiana and the other Gulf States to pick up where we left with 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.' This coming August 29, 2010 will be five years since one of the greatest American tragedies. If God is willing and the creek don't rise, we will reach the same level of heartfelt stories � human stories told by the great people of The Gulf States."
Returning to New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina, the new film will revisit some of the people who appeared in "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" to find out what has happened to their lives since then. The documentary will look at the progress and failures in education, housing and population relocation, and spotlight New Orleans' indomitable spirit. Going beyond the boundaries of the city, the film will also visit the devastated Gulf Coast area.
In addition to "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," Spike Lee's previous HBO projects include 1988's "4 Little Girls," which was Oscar(R)-nominated in the Documentary Feature category, and 2002's "Jim Brown: All-American."
The new film is a Spike Lee Film and a 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks Production; directed and produced by Spike Lee; producer and supervising editor, Sam Pollard; composer, Terence Blanchard. For HBO: supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.