School film festival creates new category

Diamond Bar High School students will once again put their cinematic skills to the test in this year’s Doppleganger Film Festival event on March 22.

According to Digital Video Productions teacher and festival adviser Mario Enriquez, the festival aims to showcase students’ talents and ability to express themselves through film. The event was started ten years ago by previous DVP teacher Ryan Maine, who left six years ago and was succeeded by Enriquez. All Brahmas are invited to participate.

This year’s event in the DBHS theater is being coordinated by the planning committee’s senior president Linda Beltran, junior vice president Hailey Gallegos and sophomore secretary Melissa Ribeiro. Beltran and Ribeiro will be hosting the event.

“It’s been a lot of learning and planning out and making sure that things are running smoothly, which was difficult for me but this year definitely helped me,” Beltran said. “I think that this is a good learning responsibility for me to have. It’s definitely taught me a lot of organizational skills and…leadership skills.”

Participants are allowed to submit a video to more than one category for judging. This year’s categories are short film, music video, theatrical trailer, commercial/public service announcement, Out of the Box and Eye Openers.

Introduced this year, Eye Openers is a new category containing documentaries that focus on various health issues, such as student wellness. The film festival, in partnership with Ronda L. Hampton’s non-profit organization REACH for Mental Health Awareness, will award a $500 scholarship to the winner.

One student who submitted to this category was senior Cyrus Eppie, who worked alongside seniors Ryan Pacis and Olivia Drew. His film, “Fallen Tiger,” focused on Pacis, who enjoyed boxing but was forced to quit after due to issues at home.

“I want to pursue [filming] as a career, so I think this was a great way to challenge myself, to not only do a personal story but also portray my artistic skill,” Eppie said.

For the festival, participants will be judged on their cinematography and editing skills, presentation, audience appeal and how original their content is. About 10 videos will be shown at the festival.

During the night of the festival, groups of presenters will present themed skits corresponding to each category. After presenting their skits, the students will introduce the nominees for their category and later give a trophy to the winner. This year’s themes include Star Wars, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, Suicide Squad and Lilo and Stitch, all of which were printed on flyers that spoofed the original movie posters.

The event will also feature performances by the DBHS Commercial Music program, who will be playing some of their songs featured in their 1980s showcase from March 8. The group will provide the opening and closing music for the show, as well as transition music between the events’ hosts entrances and exits.

Students are not limited to awards from films alone. Students can also win trophies for their films if they are awarded best actor, actress, director, scriptwriter and more.

“It’s a fun event not just for the people who submitted their videos into categories,” Beltran said. “It’s a fun event for the cast and the crew because we’re all super excited ‘cause months of work have finally paid off.”

Presale tickets are $5 and $8 when purchased at the door.