Thursday, December 25, 2014

Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal to be documentarized

The directing/producing team behind the award-winning "The Tillman Story" and "My Kid Could Paint That" to investigate Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State scandal.

Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal to be documentarized

Jerry Sandusky on the court house steps in Bellefonte, PA
Jerry Sandusky on the court house steps in Bellefonte, PA

It’s to be called Happy Valley, and it promises to be an in-depth and wrenching documentary about Jerry Sandusky, the Nittany Lions assistant football coach charged in a wide-reaching sexual abuse case that rocked the Penn State community when it was uncovered last year. Amir Bar-Lev, director of the riveting doc about former NFL star and Afghan war casualty Pat Tillman, and also director of the award-winning My Kid Could Paint That, is working on the project with his longtime producer partner, John Battsek. Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts for alleged sexual misconduct involving boys. He has denied the allegations. The trial is set to start next month.

Happy Valley is being produced by A&E IndieFilms in partnership with Asylum Entertainment. Jonathan Koch, president of Asylum, is a native of State College, and, in his youth, was a camp counselor for The Second Mile, the nonprofit organization for underprivileged kids founded by the Sanduskys.

 “When you are raised in Happy Valley, you feel as though nothing like this could ever happen there,” Koch is quoted in an A&E press release announcing the project.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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