Two Films Attempt to Restore Image of Penn State, Joe Paterno
In response to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal that received international attention and led to the firing of Penn State's president and football coach – filmmakers continue to create works to take attention away from the scandal.
Several films have already been produced about Penn State and long-time head football coach Joe Paterno and two more films are set to be released in the near future.
"Dear Old State" highlights the "tradition, spirit and community that makes Penn State an experience like no other," according to its film crew. The film includes interviews with several students who talk about their experiences at the university.
Co-directed by Griffin Boustany says ultimately the goal is to highlight Penn State's academic and social atmosphere as described by local students.
When authorities indicted Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach, for abusing children on Penn State's campus, Boustany says the Penn State community was rocked to its core. Still, he says, while some communities may never recover from such a tragedy, Penn State is an exception.
"Some people leave behind a park bench. Some people leave behind a tree. We want to leave behind this movie as a gift to this community to show the world who we are," says Boustany.
Co-director Ryan Blaschak says the film is not only for the Penn State community, but a world audience.
"We realize everyone is sick about hearing about the Sandusky scandal and the community in a negative light," says Blaschak. "Our film isn't the typical negative story people have been hearing. Instead, we're looking at the best that Penn State and Happy Valley has to offer."
Below, you can view the trailer to this film.
Meanwhile, the producers of "365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley" and "The Joe We Know" are releasing another film on DVD in November.
Filmmakers say "The People's Joe: A Tribute in Film and Form" is the story of Joe Paterno told by those who knew him well and those who knew him only by name, "JoePa."
Centered around a family kitchen table, which filmmakers say is a "symbol of stability in the otherwise busy and ever-changing world of a college football coach," the film will feature several narratives, including stories of independent groups who have been working on Paterno tributes since his death in 2012.
Filmmakers have started a Kickstarter initiative to fund the project.
The DVD film will be released Nov. 9 – the same date Penn State fired Paterno – with a portion of sales going to support the "Reflections" statue campaign, which is a response to Penn State removing Paterno's statue from campus in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.