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Student-Directed ‘Dear Old State’ To Highlight The Penn State Experience

Student-directed documentary “Dear Old State,” which highlights student life and the traditions of Happy Valley, will premiere later this month. Director Griffin Boustany-Jost, a senior majoring in Management Information Systems, gave us an inside look at the two-year project.

Focusing on the values of Penn Staters everywhere, “Dear Old State” centers around the Penn State experience from a student’s view.

“We wanted to show the world what Penn State really is, and the best way to do that is from the student body’s perspective,” Boustany said. To capture this, he spoke to student athletes, members of the Greek community, and as many influential individuals on campus as he could.

The film also highlights Penn State’s sense of tradition, covering everything from football games to the Waffle Shop. The State College community is a major component of the film as well — the surrounding community plays as much a part of Penn State as the university itself, Boustany said.

The idea behind “Dear Old State” began with The Porterfield Group, the film company behind “The Joe We Know” and “365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley.” After working on the project with The Porterfield Group, Boustany and his partner, Ryan Blaschak, purchased the rights to the film. The project will be the first film released by the Boustany Film Company.

“When I started my company, I saw a huge opportunity in this film,” Boustany said.

For Boustany, the documentary pays homage to the university that helped him begin his company. Although he had extensive experience with film-making before Penn State, Boustany’s entrepreneurship classes made his dreams of creating a start-to-finish film company a reality. He also employed the help of Penn State Small Business Development Center, Student Legal Services, and various staff members. Penn State is now one of Boustany’s biggest clients through his work on promoting Smeal College of Business’s New Entrepreneurship program.

Every film produced by the Boustany Film Company will donate 15 percent or more of the profits to charity. “We want people to watch our films not just for entertainment, but also to help someone else,” Boustany said. The proceeds from the DVD and ticket sales from “Dear Old State” will be donated to THON.

“Everything shown in the film, including the film itself, was made by students,” Boustany said proudly.

A DVD of the film can be pre-ordered here. The 30-minute long documentary will premiere within the next month, before Boustany graduates. In the meantime, a teaser of the documentary is available below.

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About the Author

Alex Calderaro

Alex Calderaro is a junior majoring in Supply Chain Management from Central Jersey. As a first generation Penn Stater, she has found a home here in several places, including her sorority, and, of course, Onward State. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @alexcalderaro.

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