CU-Lock Haven to host showing of documentary on Northeastern Pennsylvania


 "NEPADOC," a new feature-length documentary about intersections of environment, industry and identity in Northeastern Pennsylvania over the last 300 years, will be shown at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 in Sloan Auditorium.

The idea for "NEPADOC" came from more than a decade of research into the history and culture of the Northeastern region of Pennsylvania (often abbreviated as "NEPA"). Filmed over a period of eight months across more than a dozen Pennsylvania counties, "NEPADOC" is the first feature film by director David Heineman.

NEPADOC highlights the resilience of a people who, surrounded by the insular beauty of Appalachia, maintain a well-earned mistrust of authority, a fierce sense of independence and an often-tenuous relationship with their own past. Drawing inspiration from nonverbal documentary landmarks such as Godfrey Reggio's "Koyaanisqatsi" (1982) and Ron Fricke's "Baraka" (1992), the filmmakers focused the camera's attention on the many beautiful natural landscapes found throughout the region, on ruins of the bygone lumber and coal industries that defined the region's history, on the hustle and bustle of contemporary life and on the many faces of those who continue to define NEPA's character and community.

"NEPADOC" is the debut feature film by director David Heineman whose previous work, the 35-minute short "The Pandemic Nature Project" (2021), was exhibited at several juried festivals and academic conferences prior to its distribution by the literary and arts magazine The Autoethnographer.

Heineman, who's family roots in Northeastern Pennsylvania date back several generations, is a professor of communication studies at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg, where he teaches courses in media studies, criticism and public advocacy. Heineman will be at the screening, which is free and open to the public, to provide commentary and answer questions.