Happy Valley

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Happy Valley

Happy Valley

About the Film

Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary HAPPY VALLEY takes an unflinching look at an iconic American institution in the wake of unthinkable scandal. Nestled in the idyllic area known as Happy Valley lies the town of State College and the home of Penn State University. For over 40 years, Joe Paterno was the celebrated head coach of the school's storied football team. Lauded not only for his program's success on the field, but also for students’ achievements in the classroom, Paterno was a revered figure in a town where team loyalty approached nationalistic fervor. Then in November 2011 everything changed when longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, setting off a firestorm of accusations about who failed to protect the children of Happy Valley. Filmed over the course of the year after Sandusky’s arrest as key players agreed to share their stories, HAPPY VALLEY deconstructs the story we think we know to uncover a much more complicated and tragic tale. Director Bar-Lev creates an indelible portrait of a wounded community and an engrossing investigation into the role big time college football played in both the crimes and their aftermath.

Director: Amir Bar-Lev

Reactions

“A powerful new documentary. “Happy Valley” has a chilling timeliness.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Thorough, thoughtful and heartbreaking." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“An exceptionally thoughtful, layered and surprising film.” - Justin Chang, Variety

"Riveting...turns the tables on the national perception of the scandal.” - Eric Kohn, indieWire 

"A subtle and provocative documentary." - Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

Critics’ Picks “Amir Bar-Lev, a skilled chronicler of tricky dynamics, has done an expert job of brewing the controversy to its full potency.” - Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

Awards & Festivals

  • Sundance Film Festival - Official Selection
  • Winner! Sarasota Film Festival - Documentary Feature Award
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection
  • Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection
  • AFI Docs Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection

Cast & Crew

Featuring

Matt Sandusky
Jay Paterno
Suzanne Paterno

Crew

Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Producers : John Battsek, Ken Dornstein, Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels
Co-Producer: Ezekiel Morgan
Executive Producers: Molly Thompson, Robert Debitetto, David McKillop
Editing: Dan Swietlik, David Zieff, Brian Funck
Cinematography: Sean Kirby, Nelson Hume
Music: H. Scott Salinas

Technical Info

Production Year: 2014
Countries of Production: US
Languages: English
Running Time: 1h 38m
Screen Ratio: 16:9

Theaters

New York
New York
11/19/14
Los Angeles
California
11/21/14
11/21/14
Chicago
Illinois
11/28/14
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
11/28/14
11/29/14
Santa Fe
New Mexico
12/5/14
Coral Gables
Florida
12/5/14
San Francisco
California
12/5/14
Columbus
Ohio
12/5/14
Spokane
Washington
12/5/14
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
12/12/14
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
12/12/14
Santa Ana
California
12/12/14
Palm Springs
California
12/12/14
Ithaca
New York
12/19/14
Concord
New Hampshire
12/19/14
Omaha
Nebraska
12/26/14
Omaha
Nebraska
12/26/14
1/2/15
Pleasantville
New York
1/22/15
Bradenton
Florida
1/31/15

Happy Valley - Press Page

Hi Res Photos
For single image download (Open and Right-click to save to desktop)
Happy Valley 1
Happy Valley 2
Happy Valley 3
Happy Valley 4
Happy Valley 5

Awards & Festivals

  • Sundance Film Festival - Official Selection
  • Winner! Sarasota Film Festival - Documentary Feature Award
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection
  • Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection
  • AFI Docs Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection

Reactions

“A powerful new documentary. “Happy Valley” has a chilling timeliness.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Thorough, thoughtful and heartbreaking." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“An exceptionally thoughtful, layered and surprising film.” - Justin Chang, Variety

"Riveting...turns the tables on the national perception of the scandal.” - Eric Kohn, indieWire 

"A subtle and provocative documentary." - Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

Critics’ Picks “Amir Bar-Lev, a skilled chronicler of tricky dynamics, has done an expert job of brewing the controversy to its full potency.” - Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

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