DISCOVERY SPOTLIGHTS CAJUN NAVY (working title) A GROUP OF ORDINARY HEROES PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE TO SAVE THEIR NEIGHBORS
In the days after Hurricane Katrina, a group of ordinary citizens came together with one goal: to pull people from the water. The government had failed New Orleans, and it was up to the people to get the job done. These men and women hailed from all walks of life: fishermen, lawyers, pastors, housewives. This group — known as the Cajun Navy because its members caravanned down the highways, boats in tow — realized that their government wasn’t going to act in time. All that united them was a love of boats and a deep-seated desire to help their fellow man. In that storm, these men and women saved hundreds. When Hurricane Harvey hit, their numbers had grown, and together they saved thousands. Now, every year, communities across the south and eastern portions of the U.S. gear up for what could be the next catastrophic storm. 2018 was no different — it was the third consecutive year of devastating hurricanes. With intimate access to these heroic men and women during Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, CAJUN NAVY (w/t) chronicles the inspiring, spontaneous grass-roots rescue efforts from a movement that started during Hurricane Katrina and lives on today.
From production company Lightbox’s multi award-winning team of double Oscar®-winner Simon Chinn, Emmy® winner Jonathan Chinn, and Suzanne Lavery, produced and co-directed by Laura Warner, and directed by award-winning filmmaker James Newton, CAJUN NAVY (w/t) follows a group of men and women who, when everyone else flees deadly storms and floodwaters, run towards it and do the work of saving their community and its people from utter destruction.
“These are stories of neighbors helping neighbors, of people relying on each other, of communities overcoming devastating obstacles together.” says Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual. “Our audience craves this type of programming and we are excited to shine a light on the Cajun Navy’s inspiring work for them.”
Hailing from all walks of life, this informal group of boat enthusiasts came together in 2005 in direct response to Hurricane Katrina, after realizing their government wasn’t going to act in time. Later named the Cajun Navy, these everyday people mobilized out of a sheer desire to help their fellow citizens in the face of devastation, even as armed police and FEMA officials ordered them to turn back, or face being arrested and even shot.
The film profiles various men and women like Carlton Boudreaux, a former elevator technician and volunteer firefighter who has been rescuing people in his boat since Katrina. As he explains in the film, “We just love to help people. If you fall in the water, I will help you out. If you drown, I will help you.” He is teaching his teenage son Brayton the ways of the Cajun Navy, passing down the work to the next generation.
CAJUN NAVY (w/t) is on the frontline as members are facilitating re-entry into victims’ homes. While a physical job, there is also a need for members to convey compassion and empathy as people come to terms with the devastation and loss from the storms. In the film, Cajun Navy volunteer Ben Husser explains to a family how his daughter helped him get through the destruction of Katrina. “The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was bring my little girl into my house…she said, ‘Daddy it is just stuff’…She is right…we can replace stuff, we can’t replace babies or you.”
Year after year, parts of the country brace for hurricanes and people work to prevent and prepare for devastation. Yet there are those that don’t have the ability or means to do so. As farmer and drilling technician Allen Leonard explains, “As long as there are poor people, low income people, old people, generally the people that are forgotten, there will always be a Cajun Navy”.
CAJUN NAVY (w/t) is produced by Lightbox for Discovery Channel. The Executive Producers are Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn and Suzanne Lavery for Lightbox, with James Newton as Director and Laura Warner as Producer and Co-Director. Jon Bardin, Andrew O’Connell, and Howard Swartz are Executive Producers for Discovery.
About Discovery Channel:
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 88.3 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the peoples, places, and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit https://corporate.discovery.com/ and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multi-platform media company creating high quality non-fiction content for an array of distribution platforms. It was founded by two-time Academy Award®-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man, Whitney) and Emmy®-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, American High, Whitney). Lightbox’s most recent release is Whitney, a major theatrical feature documentary directed by Academy Award® winner Kevin Macdonald, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; The company is currently in production on Diagnosis (w/t) an innovative Netflix Original eight-part documentary series produced in partnership with Scott Rudin Productions and The New York Times; Untouchable, a theatrical documentary on the Weinstein scandal which will also air on BBC 2; Tina Turner (w/t), a theatrical feature documentary which will tell the full story – for the first time - of global icon and undisputed Queen of Rock and Roll, directed by Academy® and Emmy Award winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin; Gypsy’s Revenge, a feature length documentary for Investigation Discovery and Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat (8x60’) for US Network FUSION. The company has previously produced documentary series including Captive, a major 8-part series for Netflix about international hostage crises; LA92, an Emmy-winning feature documentary on the 1992 LA riots for National Geographic Channels; War Child - an acclaimed feature documentary on the refugee crisis for Channel 4; Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue for BBC Two and The Traffickers for Fusion, as well as content for Xbox Entertainment Studios, NBC Universal’s Esquire Network and ESPN’s prestigious 30 for 30 Strand.
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