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Concord High hosts horror film festival

 One of the publicity photos for the Concord High School Film Society’s upcoming film festival. It’s set for Wednesday at the high school.

One of the publicity photos for the Concord High School Film Society’s upcoming film festival. It’s set for Wednesday at the high school.

When a clown says smile, it may be best to do as he says. At least that’s what thrilled and chilled audiences viewing the debut of Concord High School student Pedro Pimental’s horror film I Said Smile will likely be thinking.

Pimental, in his first year as president of the Concord High School Film Society, has organized a horror-themed original film festival that will be held Wednesday. Sponsored by HFPI Films and Concord Community TV, the festival will include Pimental’s film, scenes from famous horror films, as well as two short films from UK filmmakers the Bloodycuts.

“I believe that horror is a style of filmmaking that actually plays with people’s emotions very well,” said the 17-year-old Concord High junior. “The main focus of the film festival is to promote the films that we make because filmmaking at Concord High School is not very well known. . . . We want to show other people what we do here and show people a little bit about the art of filmmaking. To let people know a little bit about the things that teenagers are doing at Concord High School.”

The Concord High filmmakers – all members of the film society – have been working nonstop on their film and the festival for several months, said Doris Ballard, executive director of Concord Community TV and an adviser to the group. She said this group of society members have been

particularly involved and ambitious.

“One of their goals is to have an annual film festival that they run. I mean this is their baby,” Ballard said. “This year they are really stepping it up with the horror theme. And they’ve been really working nonstop.”

That has included making studio-quality posters and short films, advertising the festival and of course, making their film, the subject of which was a tale close to Pimental’s heart.

“It was pretty much all based on a story that my great-grandparents used to tell me when I was younger,” said Pimental, who is from Brazil and moved to Concord two years ago. “And I was very little when they used to tell me that, and it’s been in my mind for a long, long time.”

The story is an old folktale about a lonely clown who wants to be like his father, who was also a clown. The only problem is that the younger clown couldn’t make people laugh.

“So he would pretty much scare people, to pretty much get them to do what he wanted them to do,” Pimental said.

One of the biggest challenges, not only in making his film, but in choosing films for the festival, was to make sure the films were scary but didn’t become gory. To that end, Pimental said his work as well as the Bloodycuts work is more suspenseful than slasher.

Pimental said he found the Bloodycuts on YouTube and will feature two of the films, Suckablood, which looks at one way to get a kid to stop sucking her thumb, and Death Scenes about a police interrogation where all is not what it seems.

As if those weren’t enough thrills, Pimental said the film society has some interactive features in store for his audiences.

“We’ve seen a lot more excitement this year than ever before, and I think it’s a testament to Pedro,” Ballard said. “I think Pedro has his sights set on being a successful filmmaker.”

The festival starts at 6 p.m. in the Concord High School auditorium, located on 170 Warren St. Children younger than 13 can enter only with an adult 17 or older.

Tickets will only be sold at the door and are $3 for students and teachers, $5 for other adults. Box office opens at 5 p.m. For more
information, you can visit the film society’s facebook page at

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