Public Premiere Of Berdoo Will Captivate Audiences

Film Created By and About San Bernardino Community Premieres Publicly January 29

“Go to school and you’ll succeed in life,” they said, but they don’t know how hard it is just to get there.

 San Bernardino, CA- Berdoo is a powerful new film that follows the challenging lives of students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD). It is a film that shares the stories of multiple students and their moving struggles surrounding school.

Berdoo ’s official, virtual premiere is Friday, January 29 at 5:30 p.m. The online watch party will include a live question-and-answer session and will include a special message from both SBCUSD and the creator of Berdoo.

Whether you live in San Bernardino or not, we invite everyone to view this documentary that paints a moving picture of struggle, perseverance, and hope. And, most importantly, Berdoo will give you a closer glimpse at some of the special people in SBCUSD who have dedicated their careers to education and their lives to making Berdoo, as we lovingly know this city, a better place for children.

The film was available for viewing on YouTube over the holidays and was viewed over 7,000 times. It has received an incredible response from the community and local organizations.

About Berdoo

Named for the moniker that locals use to refer to their city, Berdoo was inspired by research conducted at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. The creator of the film, Nishita Matangi, and her team collaborated with the San Bernardino City Unified School District to look into the barriers to attendance among high school students in the school district. While gathering data, through interviews and focus groups, they heard the stories of resilience in both the students and the community as a whole. These stories weren’t reflected by the data and headlines they saw while conducting background research on San Bernardino. They knew the stories needed to be shared and conversations about a film began.

Matangi pitched Berdoo for a project in a program she was attending at Harvard Medical School called Media and Medicine. She then continued the production as part of the practicum requirements for her master’s degree in Public Health at LLUSPH. It was important to her to create a space for the community to share their own stories, so she made sure everyone involved in the project (from the crew to the interviewees) were from San Bernardino.

The film seeks to highlight some of the struggles students face while growing up in San Bernardino, but showcase the programs and people from the school district that are trying to address those struggles. It also highlights the resilience of the community and the people that are a part of it. Throughout the years, and no matter the economic situation, the San Bernardino City Unified School District has continued to be a resource for the community. Approximately two thirds of the San Bernardino population is impacted by the school district in one way or another.

Why Berdoo :

“I was inspired by the people and their intriguing experiences and realized my initial negative introduction through data and articles didn’t reflect the true sense of the community. It was important to me that this story be told by people from Berdoo, from the crew to the interviewees,” said Matangi.

Every person has a story that deals with barriers within this community. Take the story of Minessotta Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, whose family didn’t always have a place to call home, and who saw friends struggle to keep up with school while working and helping raise their siblings. He found hope through his family, friends, and the teachers that invested in him; teachers like Mr. Hinkleman, who invested in Alex on the field, in the classroom, and beyond.

Watch the premiere at

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