Edward Buckles - New Orleans film maker and film educator at Edna Karr High School. Most notably known for his highly anticipated debut feature film ‘Katrina Babies’.
Growing up in a typical low-income neighborhood as a kid, Edward Buckles leaned toward music as therapy. Listening to Lil' Wayne as he walked through the neighborhood he would create music videos, but only in his mind. Buckles was a high school athlete at Edna Karr, but ventured into acting, after being injured.
While in college, Buckles landed an internship with film director, producer, writer, and actor Spike Lee. Lee has produced over 35 films including "She's Gotta Have It," "Do The Right Thing," and "Chi-Raq". Lee passed a wealth of knowledge onto Buckles. The pair worked closely together and Lee became a true mentor.
"During my internship with Spike Lee I was able to work with him and go to dinner with him and pick his brain 24/7... that's what made it real for me because you know being a kid from the hood, you don't really believe it's possible for you. You might be doing it but you still don't believe it. Nah, that's not possible. But, then when I started seeing myself in these different situations I was like okay, maybe... maybe I can do that! Now I’m working on my first feature film "Katrina Babies,"while also teaching other young people to do the same thing I did with their passions and careers," Buckles said.
Hurricane Katrina remains one of New Orleans' most infamous natural disasters. Even with all the tragedy Buckles also considers the ways in which Hurricane Katrina has played a major role in changing the cultural fabric of New Orleans.
Buckles has spent four years working on his film "Katrina Babies." The film explores the narrative of young people who experienced Hurricane Katrina first hand. The major focus of the film is the impact the storm had on the youth it effected. It depicts how the storm brought us where we are today, how it unleashed new energy, new possibilities, and new opportunity and also how it also left some behind.
"Amid the hurricane [Katrina] people evacuated and that forced us to see new styles, cultures, ways of living, and even forced us to develop new career paths. In the Lil Wayne video ‘Hustler Musik/ Money on My Mind' he was wearing a red Bape hoodie that had everyone scrambling to get one. Because of Hurricane Katrina and gentrification, there are different stores and corporations that would never think about coming to New Orleans, that are in New Orleans, hence H&M. New Orleans fashion is everywhere. Lil Herb is wearing Dickie outfits and that’s straight from New Orleans. Everything about New Orleans culture shapes the entire world and not just the fashion world," Buckles explained.
When asked what specifically we should expect from Buckles upcoming film he stated the following. “It's going to create a brand-new lifestyle, and it's going to expose a lot of our lifestyle in a positive way. It's going to bring up some things that outsiders might not understand. Also, it will define some of our lingual or secret sauce. "Katrina Babies" will be one of those films that's a whole new style of documentary.”
Buckles continues to share his passion with the students he teaches at Edna Karr High School. He describes the students as "super-talented" and "driven." He feels in his role as a film educator he is filling a void for students that are searching for a creative outlet. Ultimately he wants to see his students set goals for themselves and go on to achieve them.
When asked about his thoughts on Navé Buckles stated the following, “John told me when he began working on Navé three or four years ago and I always thought it was going to be dope. He sacrificed years for this brand and that says a lot about what this brand is going to be. When you have the people at the top of the brand sacrificing so much to make sure the brand stands for something and embodies something. It’s more than just a look, it’s a lifestyle. It’s leaving a message, it’s trying to inspire. I respect the brand because of that. It’s more than just a t-shirt line, it’s everything and that’s important. Navé is so important because Navé is going to be supplying the product that people will want. People want to be inspired. It doesn’t matter what path anybody takes they want to be inspired, just give them something to be inspired by.”
Buckles outlook on his future career and his belief in creativity align directly with the core values of Navé as a brand. His decision to share his passion for film making with other young people is what makes him such an inspiration.