By: Georgia Kaufman
Kyle Santoro is a junior cinematographer at Los Gatos and well known by the community for his work with LGHS sports, MOSAIC, local advertisements, and safety videos. Santoro is releasing his own documentary in partnership with larger organizations, including Song for Charlie as well as the junior’s own film production company, Life Cinema 2 (LC2) Productions, titled Fentanyl High, which will premiere in the LGHS theater on May 16.
Santoro created Fentanyl High to address the fentanyl epidemic that is currently prominent among 16-19 year olds. He emphasizes that his participation in the creation of the documentary brings a “peer-to-peer point of view, instead of an educator or an adult point of view….We know kids our age tend to listen to their peers which will be useful in getting the message out that this is a serious problem.” The junior acknowledges that educators are doing the best they can to inform students about the dangers of fentanyl, but it still just isn’t enough.
The junior cinematographer organized and produced this film to help students understand the dangers of counterfeit pills. “Just in the past two years, we’ve lost two kids in the [Los Gatos] community to fentanyl — counterfeit pills, not even knowing it was in what they were taking.” He adds, “at the end of the day, the most impactful thing I can do is use my passion to get the message out that this is a serious problem.” Beginning the project in December, Santoro has been doing all things pre-production over the past three months. Having just begun filming at the end of March, the junior currently has a team of about 24 people who are working behind the scenes as producers, crew members, actors, and interviewees.
“What I hope to get out of this is that parents and kids our age [will become] more educated about this topic and actually [relay to] their friends and peers this information.” There is a lot of publicity and marketing going into this project that Santoro has created. He stated, “The district is involved to help [reach] kids and families from all over the Bay Area.” The junior is collaborating with Ed Ternan, founder of the fentanyl awareness organization “Song For Charlie,” to put together a curriculum to accompany the film for all schools in California. Santoro is partnering with Song for Charlie, LGHS, and the Boys Team Charity to make this production happen.
When asking what impact he believes this documentary will make, especially for young high school students, Santoro replied with two words: “Save lives.” He explained that the release of this film is mainly for people to realize that “the mindset of ‘it won’t be me or my friends’ is naïve. Kids our age can make decisions without thinking…[the film] is not just addressing ‘don’t do drugs,’ but it’s also addressing the problems behind decision making.” After asking about what he has learned during the production process, he added, “I’m capable of using my platform and voice to speak out as a teenager in a critical situation like this…I [believe] am really capable of being able to save kids’ lives at our age.”
Come the release of Fentanyl High, students, parents, teachers, and community members will also be able to watch the documentary on Vimeo or Youtube.
Categories: Local News