A Double Take at the Film Festival


Gaby Dinh, Staff Writer

From laughing to screaming, audiences were thrilled with the presentation of some of Diamond Bar’s best student-made films of the year. This year’s 5th annual Doppelganger Film Festival also served as a farewell to the coordinator of the film festival, video production teacher and former football coach Ryan Maine.

Dramatic and motivational, the “Nike” commercial made by seniors Rees Vollebregt and Christian Manalo won Best Commercial. It portrayed a Brahma soccer player wearing his Nike shoes while playing the sport. The other nominees for Best Commercial were: “Pennyboards,” “Fanta,” and “Thunderbolts Cereal.”

Featuring a group of friends in World War II who find themselves in the battlefield together after their peaceful life is interrupted, “All Fun and Games” by junior Mike Dragan was very successful during the film festival. It won not only Best Movie Trailer, but also Best Editing in a Film and Best Cinematography. Other film trailers nominated were “Film Festival,” “The Raven,” and “Brawler.”

The music video for the iconic Queen song “Don’t Stop Me Now” would be presented with the Best Music Video award. Out of the three nominees, Dragon’s second film wowed the audience with its impressive cinematography.

Mimicking Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, “Rush Hour 4” starring seniors Kevin Li and Bobby Meshesha, who try to prevent another world war, received the Best Original Film award.

Individual awards included best actor and best actress.

Junior Jun Park’s role as a new guy in an office who gets used by his coworkers in “The New Guy” gave him the individual award of best actor. Also nominated for best actor were junior Parth Dhamelia in “Darkness Falls,” and the Peterson twins in “Peterson Love.”

“It was truly breathtaking to bring life to a character and world you created with a pen and imagination,” Park said.

Seniors Abby Molina and Troy Smith’s performance as they go to a party in “Chulita Adventures” gave them both the best actress award. The duo’s memorable acting in the film went against the performances of junior Shirley Guo from “The New Guy,” junior Maerah Ahmed in “Darkness Falls,” (cross-dressing) and senior Zack Stilkey in “Stacey’s Mom.”

The winner for Best Short Film was “Darkness Falls,” which went against amusing “Chulita Adventures” and “Best Man Wins.” The horror-filled short film is about teenagers left home alone who begin to experience weird and supernatural events, making the audience scream in terror.

These categories would conclude the Film Festival’s awards of the night, but that would not be the end of the show.

Probably the most memorable video during the film festival was not a nomination but a goodbye video for Ryan Maine, who will be transferring to Santiago High School in the fall. He had been coaching and teaching at DBHS for many years and he left an impression on the students he taught. In the goodbye video, many students and teachers who were featured talked about the impact Maine had on their lives and how much they would miss him.

Since its inception five years ago, the film festival has been a very popular event and total ticket sales yearly average to about $1,500.

“[The film festival] was for students who weren’t in a club or a sport. They would join this and when they won an award, it really made them experience leaving a mark in their high school lives,” Maine said.