Cinematic students come together for DBHS “Oscars”

An Oscar-themed night had the audience breaking out popcorn while watching outgoing hosts, silly student lead skits, tunes from the commercial music band and 12 entertaining film submissions at the 10th annual Doppelgänger Film Festival.

Held in the Diamond Bar High School theater, the “Oscar” award winners for the night included sophomore Melissa Ribeiro for Best Actress, junior Hugh Vo for Best Writer, senior Russell Haro for Best Production and senior Linda Beltran for Best Director. Winner for best trailer was “Time Slasher,” best music video was “Shelter,” best short film was “The Cannoli” and best eye opener was “Sedona”.

The first featured films shown were under the theatrical trailer category. “Time Slasher” submitted by Blake Holmes, Devon Winston and Matthew Sharifi was followed by “End of the Hall” directed by Kasey Baptista. Both of these submissions kept a horror movie trailer theme with eerie music, slow transitions, dark colors and scarily ambiguous conclusions. Following the movie trailer submissions were “Generation Why” directed by Aliyah Badillo and “Shelter” by Irene Kim in the music video category. These music videos starred student actors and consisted of lighthearted montages that had the audience laughing and grooving along to the music.

The three entries after were under the short film category. The film, “They Follow” submitted by Casey Bautista was a horror short film. This flick was fun and entertaining with creepy masks and an ending plot twist. Next, the hilariously entertaining short about secret agents and super powers, “The Disruptor” directed by Hugh Vo played. This film was very impressive with its special effects and camera angles.

Finally, an animated short film by Russell Haro titled, “The Notebook” took the audience on an emotional ride. The impressive sequence followed a lonely notebook creatively finding ways to fit itself on the library shelf. The storyline had the audience gasping and clapping throughout the whole film. Haro gave a heartwarming award speech thanking his mother as well as the art schools that rejected him after winning the award in his category.

The out of the box category provided the most interesting entries of the night. First, the 1920s silent film inspired entry “The Cannoli” by Emily Chang was filled with  impressive acting and fun gags. Following it was a drastic switch in moods with “Ordinary,” submitted by Kasey Baptista, which used color and symbolism in his film about anti-depressant pills, which made for a film that really made you think.

Finally, to conclude the night, three documentaries in the eye openers category left a lasting impression on the audience. “Fallen Tiger” by Cyrus Eppie was the first entry played, which followed senior Ryan Pacis as he talks about his life with divorced parents, his struggles as a boxer and how he has managed  his hardships. This film was well done and a very interesting look on this student’s life.

Following this film was “Think of Our Oceans” by Kasey Baptista. This film had powerful shots of trash sprawled out in oceans and talked about the dangers of what the world’s pollution has become.

Lastly, the winner of the eye opener category as well as the REACH Mental Awareness $500 scholarship was Linda Beltrans entry, “Sedona.” This heart-wrenching documentary follows a little girl who survived a rare brain cancer and how it affected her and her family as well as their dream of getting a service dog.

In her acceptance speech, Beltran thanked Sedona and her family, who attended the show. Beltran donated her scholarship money to the family.