NEPA Scene Podcast Ep. 29 - Scranton filmmaker Kenny Luck on 'Opioid Nation' and the drug epidemic

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In Episode 29, we sit down with Scranton author, teacher, and filmmaker Kenny Luck, who wrote and directed the viral short documentaries "Opioid Nation: The Making of an Epidemic" and "Half Empty: Life in America’s Unhappiest City," which both premiered exclusively on NEPA Scene. Before and during the interview, we drink crowlers of beer from three Pennsylvania breweries - Das Pretzel Gose by Roy Pitz Brewing Company in Chambersburg, One and Done No. 11 by Benny Brewing in Wilkes-Barre, and a special version of Vaughn's Cream Ale by Berwick Brewing in Berwick that was put through a Randall with Sour Patch Kids, which was made exclusively at Beer Boys. As “Opioid Nation” hits 23,000 views, we discuss how he got into filmmaking, the local opioid epidemic and the impact it has had on the area, why it became so bad here, what he learned during the filmmaking process, the discussions his films have started and responding to criticism, interviewing different people and gaining different perspectives that shaped the film, why drug addiction is a divisive issue that is often misunderstood, how addiction starts, glamorizing drug use, what can be done to combat addiction and the stigma associated with it, indie filmmaking on a limited budget, the studies that led to Scranton being named the “unhappiest city,” NEPA's attitude problem, the funny WNEP-TV backyard train debate featured on “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver, what projects Kenny will be working on next, his other creative outlets like writing and making music, and more. The award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast covers arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania. It airs as a live video stream every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page and is available afterward on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube, and nepascene.com. This episode and all previous episodes are available now on NEPA Scene, the award-winning independent arts and entertainment website that combines the accuracy and professionalism of a print magazine with the immediacy and convenience of a blog, offering a wide variety of content to readers in NEPA, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond. The show is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The Keys, Loyalty Barber Shop and Shave Parlor, the F.M. Kirby Center, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.

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