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Trailer for documentary film ‘365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley’ debuts online Monday

An early trailer for the documentary film “365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley” will be posted Monday on the website www.365daysthefilm.com.

The documentary’s focus is the Penn State community in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The film is set for a December release in theaters.

A team, led by producer Eric Porterfield and director Erik Proulx, has been interviewing people across the region since August.

In a news release promoting the trailer, the team posed the question: What happens to a community when a rush to judgment is wrong?

“We’re not conspiracy theorists,” Porterfield said. “That’s too easy. We are storytellers trying to find out what makes people great.”

Porterfield said he believes terrible things happened in State College, but he also thinks that the community shouldn’t be associated with the negative elements.

“The scandal doesn’t make this place or the people in it bad,” Porterfield said. “It’s a challenge for them to regroup and refocus.”

The filmmakers draw comparisons between the aftereffects of the Sandusky situation in State College and the Amish school shootings in Nickel Mines, Pa.

Proulx sees the film serving a community larger than State College.

“The film will be a wake up call - for everyone - to be more vigilant and aware in our daily lives,” he said. “It will show people how to live with intent, empathy and forgiveness, not a rush to condemn and tear down.”

Others working on the production include Shana Hagan (director of photography for “Food Inc.” and “Queen of Versailles”), Peter Nelson (HBO, ESPN) and State College cinematographer Rick Brandt (“The Joe We Know”).

“It’s always hard to predict where a documentary film is going to be in the production cycle,” Porterfield said, “but in our case, we are right where we want to be. We’re in the middle of the story.”

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