Documentary nominated for regional Emmy

"Breathe, Nolan, Breathe" is a documentary about the last moments of a WVU student's life
"Breathe, Nolan, Breathe" is a documentary about the last moments of WVU student Nolan Burch's life
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 11:39 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) -A documentary detailing the last moments of a WVU student’s life has gained national recognition.

The documentary is called “Breathe, Nolan, Breathe” and it details the last moments of Nolan Burch’s life, taken far too soon due to hazing.

“Breathe, Nolan, Breathe” is a 35-minute long documentary put on by WVU and City Drive Studios, that details the final moments of the life of WVU student Nolan Burch’s life, and how to combat hazing. The documentary was nominated for a regional Emmy award Thursday. Kim and TJ Burch, Nolan’s parents, have very important lessons to teach young people.

“Kids, you’re not invincible.” Kim Burch said. “We never thought this would happen to our family, Nolan never thought this was going to happen to him.”

“Get help when somebody needs it.” TJ Burch said. “It’s that simple. Just don’t be the bystander or the wallflower.”

Daniel Catullo, the CEO of City Drive Studios, added that he would be thankful if someone quickly got help when he was in a situation similar to Nolan’s.

“I’m not going to get up the next morning and get mad at them because I was in a hospital bed and they were worried about me.” Catullo said.

Hazing is defined as the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation, in this case, the pledge process Nolan was in. As a response to this tragedy, which took place in November of 2014, WVU launched the “Would You?” Campaign this past November in hopes of helping educate college students on how to combat hazing. However, even with the campaign, Catullo says that hazing is still somewhat prevalent.

“Across the country, you look at this big trend, you know, big, high profile hazing cases have been around now for decades,” Catullo said. “and there’s this never ending game of whack-a-mole, where you make progress on one, you got a foundation started, we raise awareness and then another one. These hazing incidents just keep happening over and over and over again.”

However, there have been positive results from this documentary, with at least two lives at WVU being saved in separate incidents, and the Burches say that this documentary has helped other families educate their children about the dangers of hazing.

“Kim and I get emails, we’ll get notes from people that say ‘hey, I showed this to my kids and this happened.’” TJ Burch said, “We really, really, really don’t want it to happen to anybody else and any other family.”

Catullo also added that saving lives is greater than any award the documentary would receive.

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