Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keeping afloat in post-Katrina New Orleans at WorldFest/Houston

Joseph Meissner wasn’t born in New Orleans – he’s actually a Houston native, and a Class of ’89 grad of Bellaire High School – but he got there as fast as he could.

Indeed, he’d already been living in The Big Easy for four years -- along with his wife and artistic collaborator, Wisconsin-born Helen Krieger -- when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. By that time, both Meissner and Krieger had established such strong ties to the Crescent City that they couldn’t be dissuaded by random acts of Gods – or long delays in urban recovery and renewal – from returning to live in their adopted hometown.

Krieger, an author, eventually drew on her experiences and observations in post-Katrina while writing a short-story collection (In the Land of What Now) that she later adapted into a screenplay. And Meissner, an actor, directed and starred in an indie movie taken from that screenplay, Flood Streets, which will premiere at 7 p.m. Monday as part of WorldFest/Houston International Film Festival. You can read my CultureMap interview with Meissner here.

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