by Mellissa Thomas
James Hunter’s gritty indie crime drama The Breaking Point premiered in Miami on Saturday to a crowd as amped and glamorous as Orlando’s red carpet premiere crowd – in fact, some of the Orlando attendees took the four-hour (or half-hour, depending on how they traveled) trek to Miami to experience the movie all over again, this time at the Open Stage Club, a restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida. Hunter and restaurant point of contact Ziomara Rivera-Valentin agreed to host the premiere there to coincide with the restaurant’s one-year anniversary. Dr. Denise Y. Mose was on hand once again conducting red carpet interviews.
The Stars and The Hottest Fashions
The event brought Orlando and Miami’s finest crowd, including Telemundo personalities, fellow indie actors, models, and recording artists.
As with any red carpet event, the attendees, especially the actors, filmmakers, and media personalities, brought their A-game, including the film’s stars Diana Lovell and Erik Grey. Lovell’s stylist, Jamie Tilly Lowery, accompanied her client to the Miami premiere. Lowery dressed her in an ambitious show-stopping white band dress that accentuated every single curve and provided a low-cut cleavage-bearing tease. While both of Lovell’s dresses are provocative, the white dress provided a smoother, cleaner look compared to the red tassels on her Orlando premiere dress.
Miss International World Jennifer Rosario wowed in Miami again, as she did at the Orlando premiere, wearing a sequined sleeveless golden bodice gown with a long front slit and satin lining, a piece from Rosaura Sias Pipenburg’s 2014 Mystery collection; and Pipenburg was right at her side on the red carpet. Furthermore, Susan Drobnis-Ratcliff, who designed the glamorous strap Rosario boasted with her blue one-shoulder dress during Florida Fashion Weekend, was with her at the premiere.
“I started first by playing with the straps–” Pipenburg said when asked about the inspiration behind Rosario’s dress, pointing to the solid straps that lace across the center of the bodice. “And I love yellow.”
“And it’s my favorite color,” Rosario added with a smile.
Pipenburg explained that she uses a little fantasy in everything she designs, highlighting her 2014 Mystery collection. “I take colors from plants, photos…I take ideas from anywhere.”
Perhaps the most magnetic outfit of the night, however, was not that of any actor, but a stylist. Actor Christian Rivera’s stylist, Sandri Gonzalez, rocked an edgy sheer black romper getup and short blonde pompadour that would make even Pink jealous, smoky eyes and all.
To be fair, Gonzalez did right by her client, and actually matched him. Rivera (below, center) looked suave and clean in his tailored monochromatic suit, his white jacket heightening his hazel eyes.
The most fashionable man on the red carpet was Jarrod Knowles, one of Miami’s top indie filmmakers, who was also responsible for many of the night’s attendees – he graciously invited his network, and it showed great support. His textured leopard print collar stood out from his gray suit, making him stand out from every other man in the place.
Dr. Mose interviewed Rosario, lead stars Grey and Lovell, supporting cast members Tracy Wiu and Wendell Kinney; and recording artists Theolodge and Hisham “XS” Abul Fotouh. Also in attendance was Haiti Ambassador-at-Large Dr. Rudy Moise.
The Breaking Point Screening
Traditionally movie screenings are done in theaters, which is the ultimate goal. However, there is something unique, and perhaps even more exciting, about watching a movie simultaneously playing on several screens throughout a packed restaurant, including the large projector screen hovering the stage. While Open Stage Club cordially hosted just under 200 people, the slightly more intimate setting made for a greater ambience.
(Not to mention offering appetizers so pretty, patrons were hesitant to eat it for fear of marring the artful handiwork.)
Additionally, a movie theater doesn’t encourage conversation – in fact, speaking or texting can get someone killed. Literally. However, the restaurant facilitated networking, since in some cases complete strangers were placed at a table.
Behind The Music
After the screening came the after-party, featuring live music, hosted by Rhyan Michele Adams. That’s right – the Miami premiere not only included the movie’s screening, but live performances by indie artists Lissy B & 2RU (who were also in the movie), R&B singer Rod Anthony, positive Hip Hop artist Theolodge, singer Hisham “XS” Abul Fotouh, unique Hip Hop and R&B singer Phal-Meh, and Young Ez and his crew, traveling all the way from Brooklyn to be there. In that order.
Lissy B and 2RU opened up with fun-loving, dance-happy pop, with quirky dance moves to boot. Each performed solo, then closed out as a duo.
Rod Anthony brought the soulful sound of a thirsty bachelor coupled with a new man’s arrogant savor of the now – a fitting match for several of the male characters in the movie.
Theolodge brought mindful lyrics and wordplay that forced the audience’s ear.
“I’m intrigued to see where it goes,” Theolodge said of the movie and movement in a red carpet interview. “A breaking point can be for anything; it can apply to what’s happening next.”
The movie’s theme especially hits home for Theolodge because it seamlessly ties in with his own brand and motto: Dream and believe, I promise you can do it all. “No one can stop your dream but you.” And he’s lived it, too: as a coach and a teacher, among other things, and now a Hip Hop artist spreading a positive message each time he graces the stage. In fact, the hook in his opening song, which he got the audience to recite, says, “I had a dream, I woke up, and I got it.”
Having been involved with music since the age of seven, that hook affirms his own life.
Along that autobiographical vein, Hisham “XS” Abul Fotouh’s performance followed Theolodge, captivating the audience with a three-song love story chronicling his pursuit of a woman he fell in love with outside of his race and culture, and the backlash he experienced during their courtship. The songs were an engrossing mix of western pop and Middle Eastern melody. The handsome tenor, who is also one of the movie’s producers, riffed in his native Egyptian several times throughout the set, which ended with him paying tribute to the young woman in the story, his beloved of one year, who was in the audience.
Phal-Meh brought an alternative underground sound, “basement Hip Hop” as he called it, crooning with the same rough-around-the-edges appeal of a D’Angelo, channeling songs of frustration, relationship drama, and even a few creative covers of classic songs like Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” Phal-Meh’s songs created the perfect backdrop for the movie’s lead character Shawn Dickerson, who was also frustrated and rough around the edges, but ultimately had good intentions for his gritty actions.
Young Ez and his crew, in true Brooklyn fashion, closed the night out by musically taking the audience back to the streets.
By the time the long night wrapped at about 3 a.m., Hunter and The Breaking Point officially left their mark on Florida’s hottest city. Hunter’s next stop: movie distribution.
All photos by Martell Darell Harding except where otherwise noted.
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About the Author:
Orlando Fashion Magazine Chief Editor and Publisher Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She’s currently available for hire, writing content for websites, blogs, and marketing material, and as a book coach. She also writes poetry, screenplays, and ghostwrites books.
She has published four books, all available on Amazon.com. Her most recent release, “Faded Diamonds”, is now available in paperback on all major online book retailers and digitally available on the Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.
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