St. Martin

Jul 30, 2013 6:02 PM by Chris Welty

Documentary to Highlight Heroic Efforts

Lafayette lawyer and award winning movie director, Allan Durand is working with UL students and faculty to film the 'Cajun Navy.'

The documentary captures the story of a St. Martin Parish couple, who went into the disaster zone, after Hurricane Katrina, to save those left behind.

As the images of Katrina unraveled on TV, Doug Bienvenu and his girlfriend Drue LeBlanc could not sit back and watch. They hitched up their air boat and went to New Orleans. Lying their way past police, they rescued more than 1,000 people.

"These people were saving lives almost under battlefield conditions, it was a very trying time," said Director of Cajun Navy, Allan Durand.

He says this film isn't another sob story.

"If they weren't there, it would have been like Hiroshima or Nagasaki there would have been thousands of people dead all over the place."

"You could have sworn Doug and Drue walked on water because these people were so grateful. They literally were the savior of a lot of these lives," said Trent Angers.

He, is the author of An Airboat on the Streets of New Orleans, a book about Doug and Drue. Angers jumped on the story after reading about the couple in the news. He says most people in St. Martin Parish didn't believe Doug and Drue's story.

"Doug had a bit of a checkered past and Drue had terrible kidney disease that she was literally dieing of kidney failure, but they went anyway. They spent their own money, went back and forth on I-10 and saved hundreds. These are unlikely heroes and this isn't a predictable story. There is an element of redemption for Doug and Drue," said Angers.

To this day, Doug and Drue are modest saying they never expected so much attention.

"It wasn't supposed to be all that. When we saw what happened, we jumped in the truck and headed over here," said Drue LeBlanc.

"Everyone was not recognized for the work they did coming in here to do the same," said Doug Bienvenu. "There was a lot of people, not just us."

"The Cajun Navy" should be released by Spring 2014.

Durand is in talks with Acadiana movie theatres, and hopes his work will be shown right here in Acadiana.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

Allan Durand won an Oscar for his screenplay "Willie Francis Must Die Again."

Writer/producer/director Allan Durrand, director/writer Glen Pitre and writer of An Airboat on the Streets of New Orleans Trent Angers collaborating for Cajun Navy.

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