Film festival scopes out the 909

Brianna Means
Staff Writer

The creativity of the 909 area code was showcased with the second annual 909 Film Festival rescreening put on by the University of La Verne’s communications department.

All eighteen films played at the film festival fell within the time span of nine minutes and nine seconds.

The festival was held at 7 p.m., Oct. 28 in ACB 212 and featured documentaries on the Los Angeles County Fair and Santa’s Village as well as creative short films.

The films ranged from experimental videos with the use of stop-motion animation, and short stories about people from the 909 area including Pomona, Claremont, Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.

Eddie Gonzalez, 909 Junkie director, explained that the criteria for being a part of the festival was that it had to be made in the 909 area and have a 909 theme such as showcasing the stereotypes from the Inland Empire such as “bro’s,” popular places in the 909 such as the fair also needed to be settings.

All of the films in the festival were unique, many with an experimental bent.

The films were very different, but tied together under the topic of the 909 area code.

Four of the filmmakers were in attendance and able to speak about their films and answer questions.

Jim Lujan, Cody Bergmann, Kyle Deeley and Kai Peter Groschupf discussed the process behind how they came up with the idea for their films, what the 909 means to them and people who have inspired them in the filmmaking field.

Jim Lujan made a short animated film titled “Freakdaddy” about a DJ who gets overwhelmed when it comes to people trying to steal his “beats.”

He stops trusting everyone and eventually is alone and homeless.

“Freakdaddy is actually a character from another short film I have made that only had a very small appearance but I liked the character and wanted to give him a story,” Lujan said.

“Freakdaddy is somewhat of an impersonation of Snoop Dogg, who I admire.”

Lujan is relatively new to the 909, since he moved there after marrying his wife who is from the 909, but he quickly grew to love it.

“I just recently discovered the Pomona Art Colony and realized how much potential there is in the 909,” Lujan said. “There are a lot of undiscovered locations, resources and untouched talent out here.”

Bergmann created a short film titled “Treetops” from stop-motion animation using 2,910 images taken from his iMac iSight camera.

The images were accompanied by music from the band Black Dice.

“My movie was made while all of my friends and I were hanging out at my house after school over the course of eight months,” Bergmann said.

Communications students, Deely and Groschupf, entered in their films they created while in classes they had with Don Pollock, professor of communications.

Groschupf made two films that were documentary style titled “Bacon Races” and “Cable Airport.”

“In the pig racing film, the aerial footage was taken while I was flying the plane,” Groschupf said.

“I chose these subjects because I had a time limit for my class and these worked out.”

Deeley’s film was about a man in a green suit fighting another man in a green suit that was made to look black.

In the end, the guy in the green suit won and turned the guy in the black suit into a fish.

“The choice to make the villain turn into a fish was random, one of the guys working on the film with me had a stuffed fish so we went with it,” Deeley said.

The festival will take place again next year on Sept. 9

Brianna Means can be reached at

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