#SobeSavvy Screens #Defaultthemovie #Miamiff @MiamiFilmFest Starring #DavidOyelowo Directed by @SimonBrand

This past Saturday evening during the Miami International Film Festival I previewed the movie Default. It is a thriller that tells the story of the hijacking of an American news crew on their plane on an African runway by Somali pirates who felt maligned by that networks prior news reporting. What ensues is a stellar roller coaster of a ride by director Simon Brand.

Default stars the clasically trained british actor David Oyelowo. He has appeared in numerous films, most notably include Lincoln and The Butler just to name a few. His character Atlas is the head of a small terrorist cell. Atlas commands a rag tag crew of accomplices in taking over the jet while it still sits on the tarmac. Default also stars Greg Callahan, Katherine Moennig, and Stephen Lord.

While most movie goers try to figure out a film in the first 15 minutes, I would advise you to keep a very open mind while watching Default. No spoiler alert here but everyone is not what they appear to be in this film. It was shot with 8 different cameras so you get a shaky Blair Witch Project kind of cinematography. Due to that effect you instantly feel vested in these characters and their fates. While this is one part political thriller, it’s really a morality thriller. This feature film has a very complex underlining plot justification. It is not for the faint of heart, but at the end when you are prying your hands off of the arms of your seats you will be forever be haunted by Default and the questions it raises.

At what cost does a person pursue their true beliefs in a cause or an objective ?

That is the question in Default. Only the viewer can decide the answer.

After the film , we were treated to a brief Q&A session with some of the cast members. Lead actor David Oyelowo responded to a query about why so many Somalis take up being a pirate instead of their traditional occupation as a fisherman.. He responded, “the West has been destroying the livelihood of Somali fishermen for years. They {the west} have exploited the fact that Somalia basically has not had a functioning government for over a decade by dumping toxic waste like used computers, cell phones and other lead containing goods in their waters. This of course kills off the fish. So former fisherman take up hijacking to make a living.”

To learn more about the director Simon Brand and view a trailer visit


To view the complete remaining schedule of the Miami International Film Festival visit


#SobeSavvy Recaps @Miamifilmfest Opening Night After #Party #Miff #Patron 3-D #Gala at the Historic #AlfredDupontBuilding #Miami


This year marks the 31st anniversary for the Miami International Film Festival.
Per their website http://www.miamifilmfestival.com The mission of Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is to bridge cultural understanding and encourage artistic development and excellence by provoking thought through film. By bringing the best of world cinema to Miami, MIFF presents the city and the film industry with a singular platform that fosters creative and technical talent.

The festival’s opening night film was “Elsa & Fred” starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. It was shown at the Olympia Theatre. After the movie is when the party started across the street at the historic Dupont Building on East Flagler St. It was magically transformed into a cinematically-themed playground. Real Film directors manned the photo booth to set up the perfect picture for guests. Spinning everyone’s favorite dance tunes was world renowned DJ Mauricio Parra. Drink sponsers Patron and Stella Artois kept all guests in a great mood. Food was provided by , Morton’s Steakhouse, Shake Shack, The CrepeMaker and many other local favorites. A great way to celebrate the next 10 days of cinema here in the magic city.

Here is my photo recap of the event. Enjoy!

Lovely’ Leslie Heigh / Freelance Photojournalist
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