A group of Galveston high school students calling themselves the hurricane story tellers, is determined to rebuild the community's spirit by documenting its struggle. In the new documentary, "Ike," victims of the hurricane tell their stories to the young filmmakers.
In "Ike," one survivor, Miranda Smith, describes weathering the storm. Smith tells of the moment she was reunited with her father.
"I turned around and it was daddy and I thought he was dead. We just ran towards each other and sobbed. It was homecoming like I never thought before," Smith said.
Melnikia Smith, a student profiled in the documentary, talks about staying in tent city after the storm. Just three days after Ike hit, Melnikia's mother gave birth to a baby girl, naming her Jon-Bernet Survivor Richardson.
Another student who worked on and appeared in the film, Natalie Martin, rode out the storm in the local courthouse with her family. Prayer and song sustained her family through the night and Martin captured the experience on her camcorder.
Faith is a theme that appears throughout the film. It, like the documentary, has helped the community stay strong and connected. Nearly 1,500 residents came to see their story premier at Galveston's Grand Opera House on May 21.
Robert Weiss, the technology teacher who oversaw the project, explained the impact the documentary has had on his students and Galveston County. "The intention behind this piece has been nothing but good willed and natural and selfless," Weiss said. "And so, the realizations that these students are gonna bring from this will just continue to grow for years to come. And that's one thing, you know, I go to sleep feeling really good about is that they really have made a difference for this community."
For more information on the documentary, head to ikedocumentary.com.