Sundance Channel to Spotlight Tulane Architecture School

August 30, 2007

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Robert Redford's Sundance Channel will film a six-part documentary that will follow a dozen or more students involved in Tulane University's URBANbuild program, a special course in which Tulane architecture students will design and build a house in a low-income neighborhood shattered by Hurricane Katrina.

"This documentary series provides a great opportunity to highlight how Tulane's School of Architecture is applying classroom instruction to better the lives of its neighbors and is helping to lead the way toward New Orleans' full recovery," said Byron Mouton, a Tulane architecture professor and co-director of URBANbuild. Mouton will be joined by fellow Tulane architecture faculty members Sam Richards and Emilie Taylor in instructing and supervising the student designers and builders.

Founded in 2005 prior to Katrina, URBANbuild was aimed at rehabilitating low-income neighborhoods through the construction of student-designed and built housing prototypes. URBANbuild's mission took on greater urgency in the aftermath of Katrina, which devastated many New Orleans neighborhoods.

The documentary series will premiere on the Sundance Channel in the fall of 2008. The series creators are Michael Selditch and Stan Bertheaud.

Selditch has served as producer, writer, director and creator for numerous documentary, talk and reality television shows for MTV, FX, Bravo, Logo, Lifetime, MSNBC, Discovery and TLC. As producer, he was nominated for a prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Reality Programming in 2001 for "Trauma: Life in the ER." Selditch was also a recurring director on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

Bertheaud is a professor of architecture at Woodbury University in Southern California. He co-wrote the screenplay "Tilt-a-World" (released as "Painted Hero") starring Dwight Yoakam in his first leading role. The film was a Gold Award winner at the Houston International Film Festival. More recently, Bertheaud co-wrote with Dwight Yoakam the surrealistic western, "South of Heaven, West of Hell." This script became Yoakam's directorial debut, and starred Yoakam, Vince Vaughn, Bridget Fonda, Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Ruebens.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000