A&E's documentary department A&E IndieFilms has signed on to produce "Happy Valley," a nonfiction feature that will focus on "the Penn State University community that was rocked in 2011 by charges of sexual abuse involving former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky."
"My Kid Could Paint That" filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev will direct the film, with John Battsek ("One Day in September") producing — production is slated to start this month.
"Happy Valley" is a nicknamed used to describe the Pennsylvania State University area. According to Jonathan Koch, the president of the project's production company Asylum Entertainment; "When you are raised in Happy Valley, you feel as though nothing like this could ever happen there. This project has such gravity, importance, and significant personal meaning to me, and I am honored that this extraordinary team of filmmakers has joined me to tell the story."
Bar-Lev and Battsek have worked together before — Battsek served as executive producer on "My Kid Could Paint That" and as a producer on 2010's "The Tillman Story," both of which also came through A&E IndieFilms. A&E's most recent doc, Paul Simon film "Under African Skies," premieres on the network this Friday.