Presented by PBS’ Independent Lens and the Washington Post
On April 27, 2011, a powerful storm system unleashed a deadly series of tornadoes across central Alabama that devastated several cities. The largest tornado, which was categorized an F4, ripped through the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, area with winds up to 260 miles per hour, traveling over a distance of 80 miles, with a path of destruction up to 1.5 miles wide. When it was over, the tornado had killed 64 people and injured more than 1,500. Alabama-based documentary filmmaker and teacher Andrew Beck Grace survived the storm, and as he discovered in the days to come, numbers and adjectives — even images — only go so far in describing what it means to wake up to your world completely rearranged. Grace has produced a unique interactive documentary about the aftermath in Tuscaloosa called After the Storm. It tells the story of what happens after the storm passes, after the media leaves town, and after the adrenaline subsides. Independent Lens is proud to co-present this interactive documentary with The Washington Post, launching today (April 27) on the 4th anniversary of the storm.
Andrew Beck Grace is a documentary filmmaker based in Alabama. His 2012 film Eating Alabama was funded by Independent Television Service (ITVS), premiered at SXSW, played over 40 festivals worldwide, and aired nationally on PBS in July of 2013. The film was awarded Best Documentary by the James Beard Foundation. Grace’s film The Durrs of Montgomery won three regional Emmys, including Best Historical Documentary. A short film, A Call from Selma, was co-produced with The New York Times as part of their Op-Docs series. He directs the Program in Nonfiction Storytelling at the University of Alabama and was recently named one of the “Most Creative Teachers in the South” by the Oxford American Magazine. He is working on a film about a man who was recently exonerated after 30 years on Alabama’s death row.