Have you ever wondered how local institutions get their start? The history of one local college, the alma mater to many Lower Providence Township residents, is a long story. Two students hope to bring the story to life via a documentary.

As part of its yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is inviting the community to learn more along side its students. The community is welcome to attend a premier public screening of “The History of Montco: A Documentary,” on Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, in Blue Bell. The screening is free of charge, and all ages are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served at the event, as well.

“The documentary is directed and produced by MCCC alumni Joseph Sapienza, Philadelphia, and Sean King, North Wales, who began the project a few years ago while they were students at the College,” said Diane VanDyke, public relations coordinator for MCCC.

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It started out as a simple project, and rather snowballed into something much more according to one of its makers. 

“The documentary really began as a one or two minute news package on the construction of College Hall,” King said. “After looking through some photos, we decided to expand the project to cover more of the history of Montco. From there, it snowballed into a feature length documentary.”

According to a press release from the college, the video starts in Conshohocken, where the College opened its doors in early October 1966, almost two years after it was officially established on December 8, 1964. Through interviews of current and former faculty, staff and administrators, King and Sapienza captured the spirit and tenacity of an ever-evolving, growing educational institution that has become the alma mater of more than 55,000 alumni.

“After years of preparation, hard work, research, and the desire to make their idea a reality, they completed an entertaining, informative movie that is a testament to their accomplishments and to the story about the college,” said VanDyke.

 It wasn’t easy, but the two former students dedicated time and effort into the project to make it a reality.

“It was a long process. We started pre-production in July of 2011 and the film didn’t go into editing until the summer of 2013,” Sapienza says, recalling the many hours of research, interviews, recording and editing.

The movie is about two hours long. During an intermission, Sapienza and King will be available to answer questions about the process of creating the Montco documentary.

Sapienza began his studies at MCCC in the winter of 2010 in the Film and Video program. In fall 2012, he then transferred to the Film and Television program at Drexel University earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2014. With films, one of his favorite subjects is documentaries, according to the release, especially documentaries involving history.

“For his senior project at Drexel, Joe produced a history documentary about the coal town, Centralia, and its ongoing underground mine fire,” said VanDyke. “Following graduation, he started an internship with NFL Films.”

King studied Communications at MCCC, focusing on Journalism. While he was at the College, he was involved in numerous campus activities, including the Communication Arts Production Group and Montco Radio.

“After graduating in 2012, he started studying History and Political Science at Arcadia University, focusing on contemporary American history and politics,” said VanDyke. “When he completes his bachelor’s degree, King plans to pursue a job in government.”

For more information about MCCC 50th Anniversary, visit the celebrations’ website at here.

All members of the public, including all aged residents in Lower Providence Township, are invited to attend the screening. To RSVP to the screening, a free event, call 215-641-6324 or email dyerkey@mc3.edu by June 18.