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AWARENESS - LC2 Productions is working with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District and others to promote a county-wide Fentanyl public service campaign warning that “One Pill Kills.” (contributed)

Los Gatos High School junior Kyle Angelo Santoro will debut his film, “Fentanyl High: The Truth Behind the High School Epidemic,” with a panel discussion and screening on May 16.

“Fentanyl High” is a documentary for the high school communities of the Bay Area, researched and directed by Santoro. Shot from the perspective and experiences of high school students in Santa Clara County, the documentary focuses on Fentanyl poisoning and how it gets into the hands of youth through social media.

According to the California Department of Health, fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clara County have jumped from 25 in 2019 to 125 in 2021, a 500% increase. A CalMatters article in December 2022 reported that “fentanyl was responsible for 1 in 5 deaths among 15- to 24-year-old Californians in 2021.” 

The film features stories by parents who have lost teens to fentanyl poisoning, including Brennan Mullin and Jan Blom, interviews with Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Los Gatos High School Principal Kevin Buchanan, Santa Clara County Fire Captain Tristen Hensley, Los Gatos High students and teachers, and others.

“I am making this film to inspire teens to save their own lives and those of their friends, their sisters, brothers or family members,” Santoro said. “I hope teens will ask themselves, ‘How can I be a better friend? How can I save a friend’s life?’”

To accompany the film, Santoro and his production company LC2 Productions are working with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and Song for Charlie to design a county-wide campaign that includes a customized study guide for “Fentanyl High,” as well as a social media “One Pill Kills” public service campaign that targets every parent in the county. Organizers behind this effort hope to educate more teens and their parents about the dangers of fake pills and to spread the word about the many public library Narcan pickup centers throughout Santa Clara County to mitigate and reduce the potential Fentanyl poisoning deaths of teens in the Bay Area.

“The Fentanyl epidemic is devastating the lives and well-being of teens across America,” said Joseph Lonergan, a junior at Los Gatos High School who acts in the film. “Fentanyl is tearing apart families and destroying communities, leaving an emotional toll on everyone.” 

“We need to be aware about the current Fentanyl crisis in high schools and among the youth,” Los Gatos High School sophomore Ashton Ross said. “Fentanyl is contentiously ending lives as they begin. Awareness can change this.” 

Katy Hawk, an actress in the film and a senior at Los Gatos High School, agreed. 

“The Fentanyl epidemic across the globe is simply happening due to lack of knowledge,” she said. “Majority of teens being exposed to Fentanyl aren’t even aware that it is in the drug they are taking. Education is powerful. It is better to be educated and safe than uncertain and at risk.” 

Santoro’s passion for filmmaking ignited in July 2021 when he filmed a two-minute short about the homeless on the back streets and hidden alleys of San Francisco. Within months, he was getting calls to shoot and edit sports reels for high school and collegiate athletes and sports tournaments all over the Bay Area. 

By mid-sophomore year, Santoro started his own film production company, LC2 Productions. Since then, he has been commissioned to shoot the “MOSAIC DEI Curriculum Series” for the entire student body for his high school, the annual LGHS Lip Dub music video, PSAs for local nonprofits, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department and Town of Los Gatos.

“Fentanyl High” will be screened May 16 from 6:30-7:15pm at the Los Gatos High School Theater, 20 High School Court, followed by a panel discussion at 7:30pm.

The event is free, but reservations are required. For information, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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