In July 2016, Pervert Park filmmakers Frida and Lasse Barkfors updated POV on what's happened since the camera stopped rolling.
What has happened in the lives of the Florida Justice Transitions residents since the end of the film?
We keep in close contact with most of the residents in the film, and have been back three times since we shot the film. Still, it is difficult to say how the residents are doing, as we don't live with them and know for sure. These are the latest updates we have:
Don Sweeney, the counselor in the park, has retired and is now enjoying his retirement life in northern Italy together with his wife.
Jim Broderick, the CEO of Florida Justice Transitions, has moved out of the park and relocated the program to an hotel in Clearwater. He is still focusing on helping other sex offenders reintegrate into society. His family still lives in Boston, MA, and he tries to visit them as often as he can.
Jamie Turner violated his probation in 2015 for using the Internet for other than work or school purposes. He got a nine year suspended sentence and was put on house arrest for two years. He was released on early termination of probation on April 21, 2016, and has after his release moved back to Connecticut with his mother. He plans to move abroad and get a Ph.D. in film studies.
Tracy Hutchinson has moved in with her fiancée outside of the park. She is still in college and is working on her relationship with her son.
Bill Fuery still lives in the park and works as their maintenance guy. He is engaged and plans to marry next year.
Patrick Naughton still lives in the park. He now has a job outside of the park, working at a fish factory.
How has the film been received both in the United States and internationally?
We were nothing but surprised by the reactions in the beginning. First of all, getting into Sundance was very unexpected to us -- and being there, we expected the audience to be small and be very negative towards the film. But all the screenings were sold out and people were very positive towards the film. We did also expect the American audience to react differently than other nationalities, but reactions have been the same all over the world. This is profoundly important to us, since we've always stated that Pervert Park might be a film that happens to take place in USA and with Americans, but the problem with sexual abuse is worldwide. The stigma that surrounds sex offenders is everywhere -- nowhere else are the laws as they are in the United States, with long prison sentences and a sex offender registry, or not. The taboo and the difficulty to talk about sexual abuse exist all over the world.
Do you see any change or shift in the awareness and attention to problematic representations of those who have committed sexual offenses since the end of Pervert Park?
We worked closely with Save the Children and other victim organizations when Pervert Park was broadcasted on public television in Denmark and Sweden. It has been broadcasted on national television in many countries and in Sweden the Police Academy uses the film in their education. In the U.S. screenings are held by many different victims organizations, support groups, treatment centers and other similar outlets, such as the Florida Civil Commitment Center (Jimmy Ryce), Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Institute for Sexual Wellness etc. It's difficult for us to say what affect this will have, but we know that legally the laws are harshening, and there still lacks focus on preventive treatment.
What are you two working on next?
We just finished the shooting of our next film, which is the second in a trilogy about social stigmas, with Pervert Park being the first. The topic is however completely different, it is about parents who accidentally cause their own child's death.