Tag Archives: Dawn Logsdon

August 2018 Commemorative Month

August 29 marks the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and New Day Films has a number of relevant documentaries that look deeply at the history and future of New Orleans.

Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, by Dawn Logsdon, explores the birthplace of civil rights, the New Orleans neighborhood that gave birth to jazz, launched America’s first black newspaper, and nurtured generations of Black activists.

Land of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity by Luisa Dantas and Rebecca Snedeker, dives deep into the tumultuous post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of urban planners, community organizers, displaced youth, immigrant workers, and public housing residents.

Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

Mr. Cao Goes to Washingtonby Leo Chiangfollows the journey of one of New Orlean’s rising political stars. Rep. Joseph Cao is the first Vietnamese American elected to the US Congress, the only non-white House Republican of the 111th Congress, and the only Republican to vote for President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill. Can he keep his integrity and idealism intact in the face of political realities?

A Village Called Versailles
A Village Called Versailles, also by Leo Chiang, is the inspiring account of a community of Vietnamese refugees in New Orleans who rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina— only to have them threatened by a toxic landfill planned in their neighborhood. As the community fights back, it turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change.

Young Aspirations/Young Artists, by Shirley Thompson, is about a youth arts program that thrived in New Orleans before the flooding, and regrouped afterward in order to continue to offer life-changing opportunities to young artists in New Orleans.

Black History Month

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Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

February is Black History Month, celebrating the lives, innovations, and struggles of African American individuals and communities.  New Day has an excellent collection of films for Black History Month, including Faubourg-Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans; Silent Choices, a history of African American women and abortion; and Beauty in the Bricks, about four African American teenage girls growing up in an urban housing project 20 years ago.  To see the full collection, click here.  

 

Meet New Day: Dawn Logsdon

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Dawn Logsdon

I’m a documentary filmmaker from New Orleans, now living in San Francisco and New Orleans. Most of my work is about city life and social change, especially at the neighborhood level.

My film Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans documents America’s oldest Black neighborhood and home to the largest community of free Black people in the Deep South during slavery. New Orleans’ Faubourg Treme is also the birthplace of jazz and America’s little known first Southern Civil Rights Movement.  The completed film uncovers Treme’s unique and hidden history and situates it within three centuries of African American struggle – from slavery through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the modern Civil Rights Movement, to the recent threats of Hurricane Katrina and displacement.

I made Faubourg Treme with my good friend and co-director, Lolis Eric Elie, who lives in the neighborhood and, at the time, was a columnist for New Orleans’ Times Picayune newspaper.  We were almost finished editing when Hurricane Katrina hit. We had to evacuate the city ourselves and then sneak back in a few days later to rescue our tapes from floodwaters. We decided to abandon our original structure, locate our characters, go back into production to include the impact of the disaster on them and the neighborhood, and reframe the story from a post-Katrina perspective.   

We’ve been astonished at the range of people and organizations that have used our film in creative ways and the impact and responses it’s had.  It has screened widely at music festivals around the world; been used as a policy tool for FEMA and other rebuilding agencies and foundations; been incorporated into training programs for student and church volunteers and Teach America; and screened at many civil rights, journalism, and social justice conferences and rallies. We are personally most excited that a new generation of activists from the Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist movements have begun using it as an organizing and educational tool, often along with a presentation/discussion session with Lolis.  If other student leaders or professors are interested in inviting Lolis to their campus along with the film, please contact us at info@tremedoc.com.

 

Learn more about Dawn’s work here.