YouTube Trailer https://youtu.be/3aRhmLM4Hwk
HEEL'D...A mile in her shoes. That is a mouthful right there. Recently I attended the Red Carpet Movie Premiere written and directed by Tonya Love and Co-Directed and Produced along with Demetris Illski Jones. Together, they are partners known as the flaming Elephants. As I walked into the room of the Camelot Theatre in Greenville South Carolina, On June 24th 2023, it was filling up fast with over 170 attendees. People were all around taking snapshot photos and Celebrity Vlogger XOXO MaryMak was in the room getting cast interviews. Ana Odom "Your Goddess Hottie" was working the room capturing highlighted moments of joy from the crowd. Everyone was dressed for success and "Focus Forward with Robin" and Poet Antonio Williams was in the room representing The S.W.I.F.T. Magazine team. I was ready to find out what all the hype was concerning this well advertised movie.
With popcorn and Pepsi in hand, I began realizing there is a real story here about misunderstanding in families, religious beliefs, judgements, and wrong choices but also forgiveness and redemption and self discovery. It's taken me a few days to process this movie, as it is very relatable to all human mankind. Each person in that movie room I'm sure could relate.
The storyline starts with a young teen girl Angela (Youth Actress Alaysia Nash) who "seemed" to make the wrong choice in life and got herself pregnant. Instead of her Preacher man father, Pastor Williams (Actor KIng Oren'thal) and mother 1st Lady Cynthia (Actress Ava Michelle) embracing to help guide as a loving family would normally do, she was humiliated and kicked out of her home due to the religious mindset of her father. She blamed her younger sister Stacy (Youth Actress Parris Goodman). She felt betrayal, unwanted and hurt along with bitterness with family. She often dreamed of having new pairs of high heeled shoes which showed subliminally believing purchasing shoes would bring her peace.
Angela, as an adult (Actress Ciera Cohen) shut her emotions off while trying to find herself and found several years of more wrong choices in the streets, meeting up with men who were manipulative and abusive to her such as Vince (Actor Reggie Rocc) and working in the strip clubs just to make the high price money to be accepted by people who were not pointing her in the right direction of a life with purpose.
There were some comedy roles by her strip club friend such as Trisha (Actress Cherell Evans). She tried to be helpful with her funny comments. She also stayed in touch with her now adult sister Stacy (Actress Kelah Elaine). But there was still hurt and anger that triggered because Angela felt Stacy didn't defend her when they were young. But how could she? She was just a child herself.
Oftentimes, We try to blame others when they have no control over what has happened to us. We let our pain leak out and we speak resentful words. Angela had two small children Zee and Jay, (Youth Actors Serenity Whitner and Aj Nash) who were watching their mother love them the best way she thought she could, but she had no guidance in her own life to help her with making better decisions. The movie even showed that the vindictive criminal boyfriend didn't care about the well-being of the children or Angela when he took the children to the strip club of Angela's job. And he just dropped them off when he was supposed to be looking after them. His dramatic attitude shows the character of the actor in full narcissistic behavior. Oftentimes children get caught in the middle of parents' battles and they end up being the hurt ones. Someone witnessed this dramatic scene at the club, and it resulted in Angela losing her children. The police officer (O'shay Fuller) and social worker (Actress Krystal McElveen) enters the home and removes the children from Angela's arms. This dramatic scene was hard to watch as it reminds me that this happens way too often where children are taken away and there isn't an explanation given or proof to show facts.
And what about Trey (Actor Divine Sayles) who was the child born out of wedlock to this teen mom so many years ago? He loved his mom, yet he had no clue who she really was. She was a stripper in a night club and he thought she just waited on tables. He was in love with his moms co-worker Tiffany (Actress Briana Young) and devastated when everything was exposed, and so he walked out on his mother leaving her with no one but herself to figure out what to do. He had just turned 18 and was officially an adult. It is the adult children who build even emotions and respond out of resentment. Before we act, we should think first about everyone involved. Angela was doing only what she thought was right, after all she had to grow up fast.
After years of missing their daughter Angela's parents found redemption of their ways and wanted to make peace so they sent a young man to watch over her. Dee (Actor Marquish Nash) stayed close by and even wanted to offer her a job to get her out of the promiscuous life. And all the while it was because her parents truly still loved her from a distance. They tried to make contact but because of the anger Angela felt, that was delayed and denied until everything crashed.
While at the dinner table sister Stacy informs to the parents that Angela did not "go get herself pregnant" but she was raped! Her father immediately felt remorse and wanted to show affection. But Angela's heart was still so bitter. Could she forgive him, even with a judgmental preacher father trying to make amends? So many people in leadership want to cast blame without even knowing the full facts. They care so much about the opinion of what a situation will look like instead of facing it head on with dignity. And sadly, it is often a reflection from those in leadership in the churches.
Near the end of the movie Heel'd there is an altercation with Vince, the criminal boyfriend and the preacher's father. Vince shoots Pastor Williams. This scene was unexpected when this happens as Vince tries to get the father to believe him and make Angela look bad for turning on her father. The family is at the hospital when the Doctor (Actor James Hester) enters the room and announces the father will be alright.
And shortly after this, Angela is sitting around the table with her friend and sister, and opens a package that her father sent to her. It had a message inside of a beautiful pair of new shoes letting her know of his love for her and he was sorry and that the new pair of shoes was a gift to say he wanted to walk a new path of life with her. The shoes represented that everytime the young girls did something wrong they would ask for a new pair of shoes, hoping it would erase the problem or the bad steps taken. He knew the love she had for shoes and all along all she wanted was him to know what it was like to walk a mile in her own life. Receiving this gift was truly a gift of redemption for both. She found her true peace. She Got her children back and renewed relationship with her parents.
This movie stirred up a lot of emotions in me. Everyone in life has at some point felt misjudged, and abandoned from someone or a situation that has happened in life. And just like Angela, we walk in rebellion full of bitter emotions and react accordingly, not resulting in good behavior. Sometimes it's to the extreme of even losing friends, business or family members. Before you start pointing your finger at the mistakes of other people, always take a look and see if you are doing the right thing. I have learned over the years to be cautious of how I respond to nonsense and pettiness, especially when I don't know the full facts. Flying off at the handle at the least little bit of distraction or getting moody or something that hurts or angers you, makes you look so immature it’s ridiculous. Especially if you are a leader in the community. This is how Vince, and Pastor Williams behaved. And holding onto the pain of past hurts and rejections without being healed emotionally, will cause a snowball reaction from generations down the line as we saw with Trey getting angry at his mom and Angela holding onto anger that led her down a path of destruction.
If I could tell my younger self something that would help her to “focus forward" I would let her know to stop, pause and think before she speaks and responds. Then focus on what she can change to make the situation better and brighter, or be okay with just letting it go. I'm sure the Character of Angela felt this and the Writer of the story had this in mind too.
As a Professional in the Public Relations TV|Radio media industry of movies, music and writing, I rate the message of this movie with a high five star rating. Each character (some with little experience) brought the message of each scene to clarity and dramatic behaviors. Heel'd is definitely a movie that should be watched and examined with thorough process to take a look within one's own life.
Another takeaway is that the Directors Tonya and Demetris of Flaming Elephants both have a passion to give others an opportunity to showcase their talents with their projects. So many people have made comments about this movie on social media that this partnership in the film industry has ignited inspiration to continue acting careers and to even start dreaming with visions as well as witnessing their faith in action with this movie.
To support this project and keep up with what's happening to reach its goals you can help by contacting the crew or click the link:
(use discount code MAG)
This production became a family affair also. These are the following family members who took part in working as Actors and behind the scenes to help make this film a success on the big screen for Tonya and Demitris.
Alaysia Nash - Daughter Actress Young Angela Aj Nash - Actor Son Jay Marquis Nash - Son Actor Dee Marquan Nash - Son Help with Videography Chrishad Nash - Son Boom mic Chris Nash - Husband One of the producers
It is with great pleasure that I write this article highlighting the strength of Flaming Elephant films. May you realize that no matter what you face in life you have an opportunity to turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones and be healed or should I say Heel'd.
About the Writer:
Robin Shockley is the Founder of “Focus Forward with Robin”. She is a Writer of magazines, and radio/TV Host, Actress, Community Servant-Leader, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, and Author of books. She believes there is freedom to move forward in life to think, believe and achieve a thing.
Robin Shockley is a social media network blogger and interviewer who travels the country showcasing small businesses for social media branding through her expertise of Public Relations with writing and video WHY story interviews partnered with 106 Live Radio out of Atlanta and Mr Big South Music Management Studio to feature Tasteful Tips and Trips Food Podcast in Charlotte.
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