The studio experience, which included makeup, breaks, and two separate filming sessions, lasted approximately four hours. The set was a warehouse that had been converted and artistically designed to look like a home stricken by the hurricane. “There were almost two dozen members of the crew on set,” says Wilkinson. “Yet, the producer said she was amazed at how everyone stood frozen, silently listening and mesmerized for over an hour as Imani shared her story of wading in Katrina’s filthy flood waters up to her neck and barefoot after the levees broke and she found herself trapped in the shopping mall where she had sought refuge. It was a very emotional experience to relive.”
As well as the filming went, however, the opportunity to participate in the documentary almost didn’t happen. Although several of the Katrina survivors in Wilkinson’s book “UNTOLD” rode out the storm in New Orleans, none were able to make the trip to Canada. However, through a chance meeting at an event where they both were vendors, Wilkinson learned of Williams’ powerful Katrina story of survival and kept in contact with her. “We both say it was no coincidence that we met” says Wilkinson. “We both believe that meeting was meant to be.”
The as yet untitled National Geographic documentary will also feature survivors of other disasters such as tornados and tsunamis. The documentary is scheduled to be released in 2012.
To read a blog on the National Geographic filming and learn more about UNTOLD, the book that started this adventure, visit www.HurricaneKatrinaStories.com and click Blog.
About “UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew”
“If you want to know the truth behind the faces and images you saw during Hurricane Katrina, you will want to read this book,” says Lynette Norris Wilkinson, author of UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew. UNTOLD shares the riveting true stories of 16 Hurricane Katrina survivors from the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, the area that was so devastated and the community where Wilkinson grew up. Survivors in the book include men, women, and children—some who remained in their homes during the storm and one who survived the chaos of seeking refuge from Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans Superdome and has an encounter with Rock And Roll Legend Fats Domino. UNTOLD was named “Book of the Year” by the Sankofa Literary Society. The book is God-inspired and proceeds will be donated to an organization helping the residents of the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward recover. To learn more about UNTOLD, visit www.HurricaneKatrinaStories.com.
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"UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew," shares the riveting true stories of 16 Hurricane Katrina survivors from the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward, an area still devastated over 5 years later. Proceeds donated to help residents recover.