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Film Screening & Symposium on Landmark Hurricane Katrina Film with Producer Tia Lessin at UF

January 15, 2014


Gainesville, FL—On January 15, producer and filmmaker Tia Lessin will present a symposium at the University of Florida on her 2008 film, “Trouble the Water,” which focuses on Hurricane Katrina. The movie chronicles the experiences of a young couple, Scott and Kimberly Rivers Roberts from the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, through the storm and after as they rebuild their lives and community. “Trouble the Water” has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Kathleen Bryan Human Rights Award.

The symposium will begin at UF on the afternoon of January 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Ustler Hall, where Lessin will lead a panel on “Trouble the Water” as discussant. The panel will feature as speakers Professor Sharon Austin, Director of UF’s African American Studies program, Professor Barbara Mennel from UF’s English Department, and Professor Churchill Roberts of UF’s Journalism College. The panel will be moderated by Professor Judith Page, Director of UF’s Center for Women’s Studies.

In the evening, Lessin will give a public screening of the film, “Trouble the Water,” in the MacKay Auditorium at Pugh Hall at 6:00 p.m. Following the movie, she will answer questions about the film’s creation and production, as well as the social impacts of Katrina in New Orleans and throughout the Southeast. The event will be followed by a reception. Extra credit sheets will be available for students in participating classes to sign in. Parking is free.

The trailer for “Trouble the Water” is available on YouTube from Zeitgeist films:

Tia Lessin is the director and producer, with Carl Deal, of “Citizen Koch.” She directed and produced “Behind the Labels” and co-produced several of Michael Moore’s films, including “Capitalism: A Love Story,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and she was the supervising producer of Academy Award-winning, “Bowling for Columbine.” Her documentary films have been screened at the Sundance & Full Frame film festivals. She won the Women of Worth Vision Award by L’Oréal Paris and Women in Film and was a fellow for the Open Society Institute, where she was honored as a Katrina Media Fellow for her work supporting the coverage of race and class issues in America.

The “Trouble the Water” symposium and film screening is free and open to the public, and is organized by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and co-sponsored by the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere Rothman Endowment, African American Studies Program, UF Center for Women’s Studies, UF Smathers Libraries, Bob Graham Center for Public Service, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations and College of Journalism and Communications, Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

For more information about this event or the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, please call 352-392-7168 or visit


January 15, 2014
Event Category:


Ustler Hall (2:30 p.m.) and Pugh Hall (6:00 p.m.)
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32633 United States


Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and UF’s Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research