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“Educate” is Final Piece Screened at Annual Dublin High School Film Festival

May 21, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–In four short years, the Video Production Program at DHS has risen to heights not foreseen. Under the direction of teacher Michael D’Ambrosio, this endeavor has risen from two daily sections to five. In 2018-19, Video Production 3 will be added that will include an enhanced/focused group of only 16 students that will prioritize on a singular film project that will be up to 45 minutes.

How did this happen? It was simply the synergy of a devoted instructor and the quick adoption by numerous students that saw the potential and challenge of a subject that is largely not offered at this level to high school students in the local area. With the full embrace from the DHS administration, this program has expanded beyond a video daily bulletin into live-streaming capabilities of sports events, the in-sourcing of filming “Every 15 Minutes” to a live /daily broadcast received on campus. The vision for next year is to provide a 24-hour radio broadcast which would the first of its kind in Northern California.

However, the relative centerpiece of Video Production at Dublin High School has been the presentation of the annual Film Festival. From somewhat modest beginnings, the event has morphed into a very large undertaking. Case in point: This year there were 77 separate submissions. From this group, 32 pieces were screened by a separate panel in order to whittle down the group to ten that would be screened on Thursday evening. Year over year, the quality of submission has increased as well as the diversity in content. Last week was no different. While this is not a competition, the honor of being screened last is reserved for the piece that is judged to be superior. The film “Educate” was created by Writer & Director Faith Rynda and Cinematographer Chris Thach. It was a successful collaboration by two students that shared a vision for a story that was sure to touch many nerves and to awaken a community on the topic of race relations. The subject is real and so very relevant. OneDublin.org sat down with both to gain greater insights into how they crafted this vision – one that would leave us to ask more questions.

OneDublin.org: How did you come up with the concept for “Educate”?

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Chris Thach: “Faith and I have a thing where we want to make films that “we need.” I really trust Faith and I’ll follow her wherever she wants to go. In the original concept, the lead character died. He actually got shot. But then I saw a tweet from an artist and he said “If you’re not talking about the world, then you’re really scared.”

OneDublin.org: At what point did you hatch this concept for the film and how was the ending potentially different?

Faith Rynda: “It was at the beginning of the year and I knew that I wanted to make something relevant. My film does not reflect upon my opinion necessarily. I know that I had to view this in a different way.”

OneDublin.org: Will film continue to be a pursuit for you? What impact has Mr. D’Ambrosio had on you?

Thach: “Film is my passion. It is a very systematic art and I want to continue. His sense of urgency has been incredible and he jumps on things immediately.”

OneDublin.org: From the audience standpoint, should they be sympathetic to the police officer?

Rynda: “I wanted to have our audience to see both characters. You must sympathize with both the officer as well as the suspect. The only way to reach both sides was to show both sides.

OneDublin.org: What was the impact when you understood that “Educate” would be screened last? How did it feel to see it up on the screen in front of a full crowd?

Thach: “Mr. D said that you guys are seniors and it would be great if you were screened last. Initially, it was extremely quiet, but I also felt that it really sunk in with the audience as if “wow, would they really go there?”

OneDublin.org: What are your ambitions post-Dublin High School?

Rynda: “I will be attending Boston University next January. I’ll also do six weeks in London next summer to finish my next semester. I hope to be pursuing dual degrees as a sophomore.”

OneDublin.org: What reactions did you receive from your peers?

Rynda: The biggest question that I received related to the ending – did the suspect die or not? It is intended to be ambiguous. Regardless, it is supposed to be open ended. I wanted people to interpret it the way that they want to. Should America educate itself or is it up to the suspect?”

So, for another year, the DHS Film Festival has risen to new heights in terms of interest and conversation. The overall quality of the pieces seems to continually increase. Equally important is the fact that the student/artist voices are not hindered and they are able to express their individual visions without discrimination. OneDublin.org would like to thank both Faith Rynda and Chris Thach for sharing their thoughts on their experience. We would also like to recognize Michael D’Ambrosio for fostering a learning environment that embraces all viewpoints. Here is the 2018 DHS Film Festival Feature Film “Educate”:

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