USC grads film positive message for San Diego amid pandemic woes

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SAN DIEGO – The pandemic has halted many milestones from weddings to graduations, but two USC film school students decided to turn their unexpected free time into more fuel for their passion, sending a positive message to San Diegans through a short public service announcement.

“Connecting with your neighbors can still happen from a distance, connecting with your friends can still happen,” Davide Pinto said.

Pinto worked with his best friend Kian Mirnezam to film the PSA when they both had to cut their last college semester short and come back home to their home community of 4S Ranch.

“We’re all in it as one team, one family, everyone is in it together – one city and we just hope that all San Diegans can come together,” Mirnezam said.

Both Pinto and Mirnezam thought they would be preparing to enter the working world, but instead used the time to tap into their creativity and made the PSA.

Many will find it hard to forget 2020, but the story of this friendship and passion for film goes back to 2009 when the pair met in middle school. Back then, they were trying to turn every class project into a film project.

“Sometimes we would be warned ‘this one you’re not allowed to do a film, you have to do a PowerPoint’, so we would do the PowerPoint and on the side we would still make the film,” Pinto said.

From middle school projects to high school, the two always were producing videos and short films, often starring their friends and family. By college, they ended up at the same school again, still pursuing their dreams.

“So much has changed, but at the same time, nothing has really changed, Mirnezam said. “It’s kind of great.”

In addition to the PSA, the pair have written a screenplay together during quarantine and plan to continue their creative endeavors. 

“It’s nice to kind of take some time to remember what it is that makes you happy,” Pinto said. “Why we got into it to begin with and at the heart of it, it was working with each other.”

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