2021 Doppleganger Film Festival winners

Despite  Covid-19 and social distancing protocols, Diamond Bar High School students passionate about film were still able to show off their talent at the 12th annual Doppelganger film festival.

This year’s Doppelganger Festival, organized  by Digital Media Production teacher Mario Enriquez, with this year’s topics being geared toward Mental Health Awareness. Winners were awarded $500 and for the first time this year, runner ups got $150. Awards were given for PSA/commercial, Theatrical Trailer, Music Video, Out of the Box, Short Film, Best Writing, Best Editing, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Director.

“Media production as a whole has blossomed over the years and there is an abundance of great videos to use online. Our real issue was technical fluency and the amount of resources from home, which was a constant process of difficulty. Whether it was the lack of high end equipment or available participants,” Enriquez said.

Ginger Alvarez’s “Money Lashed,” PSA/commercial took the award, with a pink, retro aesthetic. Kasey Baptista took home two awards with best theatrical trailer, “The Reaper of Men,” filled with a series of clips that included gory and guns, as well as Short Film with “The Delivery,” illustrating two delivery men who go off to ship a strange package from an old man.

Baptista’s advanced videography skills, using different angles and filters help to capture suspense and anticipation of what will happen next.

“The Samurai and the Thieves,” the winner  for Out of the Box, portrays a lighter, comedic scene with a samurai meeting with a servant who serves a wealthy lord. It was made by Devon Winston, Blake Holmes, and Mathew Sharifi. The three also took first place for Eye Opener with their film “Born Black,” about significant African American role models in history. Runner Up contestants Ariana Gallardo, Abby Kottke, and Katherine Villanueva won with their film “The Effects of Covid.”

“Students had to find a way to be resilient and creative throughout the filming process,” Enriquez said. “In addition, utilize their restrictions to find tangible ways to integrate actors, interesting characters, and conceivable plots that could be created with a social distance mindset.”

Charlene Kim won for best music video “Madhouse,” focused on  mental health awareness.

“I wanted to bring mental health awareness to portray how it feels to be your own destroyer for your mental health. I wanted people to relate to that,” Kim said.

For additional categories, the best short film awards went to  Sharifi, Holmes, Winston, and Melissa Ribeiro for their film “You’ll Never Know What Happened.” This film portrays a story of a contract killer who went to war as he talks about his life story.

In Best Editing, Hugh Vo won with his film “Water Story 2,” a lighthearted film about a water bottle that goes on a journey, leaving the path of his water bottle family behind.

With Vo’s advanced editing skills, he was able to create a lively, interactive, fun fiction film.

Angela Liao won best actress with her music video “Ribs,” embellishing what it’s like growing up and remembering back to when she was younger. Devon Winston won best actor and Kasey Baptista took the best director award.