Royd Anderson

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Royd Anderson
Royd Anderson speaking at George Prince Ferry Memorial Ceremony.jpg
Royd Anderson speaking at the George Prince Ferry Memorial Ceremony, October 17, 2009
Born (1972-07-22) July 22, 1972 (age 42)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation Filmmaker

Royd Anderson (born July 22, 1972, New Orleans, Louisiana) is a Cuban-American filmmaker and historian based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He specializes in documentary films pertaining to tragic Louisiana events often overlooked by historians.


In 2006, Anderson wrote and directed the documentary The Luling Ferry Disaster for his Master's thesis project in Communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.[1][2] The film recounts the story of the MV George Prince ferry disaster, the worst ferryboat accident in U.S. history with 77 fatalities.[3] The documentary was released on the 30th anniversary of the disaster on October 20, 2006. The success of the film generated a movement, initiated by Anderson, to build a monument in St. Charles Parish for the victims and survivors.[4][5] The Luling/Destrehan Ferry Disaster Memorial Committee, led by St. Charles Parish Councilman Larry Cochran, was established on January 28, 2009, consisting of family members and friends of the deceased, St. Charles Parish Council members, and concerned citizens, along with Anderson. Through the work of the bureau, a memorial was finally erected. It was unveiled in a solemn ceremony on October 17, 2009 at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan, Louisiana. St. Charles Parish Councilman and architect Paul J. Hogan designed the monument.[6]

In 2007, Anderson wrote and directed the documentary The Continental Grain Elevator Explosion. The film documents the deadliest grain dust explosion of the modern era, occurring on December 22, 1977 at the Continental Grain plant in Westwego, Louisiana. 36 lives were lost.[7][1]

Pan Am Flight 759 is Anderson's third documentary, released in 2012. The film examines the worst plane crash in Louisiana history, occurring on July 9, 1982 in the city of Kenner.[8][9] At 76 minutes, it is his longest film to date. An edited-for-TV version of the documentary (58 mins.) was aired on Cox 4 in three Louisiana regions: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Acadiana.

Anderson's latest project is The Upstairs Lounge Fire which documents the 1973 UpStairs Lounge arson attack in New Orleans. The documentary was released on June 24, 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the fire.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]

Anderson's films The Luling Ferry Disaster and The Continental Grain Elevator Explosion were honored at the Pelican d'Or Short Film Festival at Nunez Community College, winning the Best Documentary category in 2007 and 2008. At the 2013 Lake Charles Film Festival, Pan Am Flight 759 won the Best Documentary category, as well as placing second in the Best Home Grown Film category; The UpStairs Lounge Fire placed third for Best Home Grown Film. Anderson was invited to Princeton University to screen and discuss The UpStairs Lounge Fire. His documentaries have also been accepted into The Historic New Orleans Collection, one of Louisiana's archives.

Personal life[edit]

On television, Anderson has been a featured guest on the LMN (TV channel)'s show Ghost Inside My Child, the Louisiana Public Broadcasting network show Louisiana: The State We're In, the WYES-TV news program Informed Sources, WGNO ABC 26's Good Morning New Orleans, and Netflix's show Animal House. He is an alumnus of Loyola University New Orleans,[11] the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Delgado Community College. In addition to being a filmmaker, Anderson is also a former high school teacher.[1][8]


  • 2006 The Luling Ferry Disaster
  • 2007 The Continental Grain Elevator Explosion
  • 2012 Pan Am Flight 759
  • 2013 The Upstairs Lounge Fire


  1. ^ a b c Jonathan Menard (January 10, 2008). "HHS teacher makes documentary about explosion that killed 36". St. Charles Herald. 
  2. ^ Heidi Rogers Kinchen (October 20, 2009). "Ferry monument dedicated". The Daily Star. 
  3. ^ June 25, 2013 (September 29, 2006). "STUDENT PROJECT GOES INTO PRESTIGIOUS STATE ARCHIVES". 
  4. ^ Matt Scallan (January 25, 2011). "Bell of doomed Destrehan-Luling ferry on display". The Times-Picayune. 
  5. ^ Matt Scallan (October 13, 2009). "Memorial to tell story of 1976 ferry disaster that killed 77". The Times-Picayune. 
  6. ^ Matt Scallan (October 15, 2009). "St. Charles Parish to dedicate monument to ferry disaster". The Times-Picayune. 
  7. ^ Josh Murphy (June 25, 2013). "Broadcasting alumnus documents Louisiana grain elevator explosion for television". Cypress Lake News. 
  8. ^ a b "Former HHS teacher makes movie about Kenner tragedy". St. Charles Herald Guide. June 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ Mary Sparacello (July 9, 2012). "Pan Am Flight 759 crash remembered in memorial, documentary 30 years later". The Times-Picayune. 
  10. ^ Erin Nicole (June 24, 2013). "Mass killing at New Orleans gay lounge remembered 40 years later". ABC-WGNO. 
  11. ^ "Alumnus Honored for Documentary Films". Loyola University Alumni Association. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 

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