Student hosts film screening


Printed with permission of Alejandro Lombard

During the filming of his short film, which is called “A Second Chance,” Alejandro Lombard ’23 oversees a vehicle collision scene in which two actors lie on the ground, playing dead. Lombard and the rest of his team shot and edited the short film over the course of four weeks. Printed with permission of Alejandro Lombard.

Davis Marks

Alejandro Lombard ’23 hosted a community screening of his original film “A Second Chance” in Ahmanson Lecture Hall Thursday.

Lombard said the film focuses on the experiences of teenagers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My film, A Second Chance, centers on two lonely souls in need of connection in the midst of the pandemic told through the lens of a teenage love story,” Lombard said.

Lombard said the screening was a success and allowed him to share his passion for filmmaking with friends and classmates.

“The screening went really well,” Lombard said. “There was a good turnout, and it had a really good reception. I was just super excited to show my film to my peers and share this side of myself which I feel I haven’t really shared these past two years at [the school].”

Lombard, who started attending the school in ninth grade, previously attended Millikan Middle School, where he created over 15 short films and won awards at national and international film festivals. After coming to Harvard-Westlake, Lombard said he was unable to dedicate as much time to filmmaking. Lombard said he found an opportunity to create another film over the summer: He said he wrote a script in a couple of weeks, began pre-production in late summer and finished shooting in September.

I was just super excited to show my film to my peers and share this side of myself.”

— Alejandro Lombard '23

Lombard said the screening and the community’s support proved educational, as he said they helped him refine his film.

“It is always useful to see how an audience responds, as there are always things that you see when you’re watching your film in front of a large audience that you don’t pick up on when you’re editing,” Lombard said. “I definitely learned a lot from the screening, and I think that my film needs one more pass in post [production] before it’s ready to go onto the festival circuit.”

Visual Arts Teacher Reb Limerick, who teaches Lombard in her Video Art III class, said they were excited when Lombard told them that he was creating an original film. Limerick said they let him use the school’s filming equipment and that they were impressed with Lombard’s film, as well as his dedication in serving in various production roles.

“I was so impressed by [Lombard’s] film ‘A Second Chance,'” Limerick said. “The cinematography was beautiful, the editing was meticulous and the narrative was open-ended and thought-provoking,” Limerick said. “Mainly I was wowed by Alejandro’s initiative to write, cast, direct, film and edit this film in his own time.”

Westflix co-director Sam Pokress ’22 attended the screening, and he said it was great to see the finished film after hearing about it from Lombard.

“I decided to attend the screening because [Lombard] is a good friend of mine,” Pokress said. “I was really excited to finally see the finished project during the screening after months of hearing about it. I thought the film was beautifully shot, with great lighting and effects. Additionally, he played with the camera’s focus a lot which gave the film a super unique look.”

Limerick emphasized that because of the amount of dedication student artists put into their work, getting to showcase it is a valuable experience.

“Student artists put so much time, effort and love into their creative work, [so] it can feel disappointing and hollow to just post it online and see the view count go up,” Limerick said. “It’s gratifying and important for any filmmaker to experience their work on a big screen in a dark theater with quality sound and an audience reaction.”