Historical Film Premiere Showcased at Red Carpet Event

Celebrating the Durojaiye siblings’ success at red carpet event was the perfect ending to a yearlong project

Mar 21, 2022

Historical Film Premiere Showcased at Red Carpet Event

Premiere of the first-ever alum focused film, The Durojaiye Siblings – A Shared Journey of Dreams, connects alums, faculty, staff, friends and family in the spirit of celebration.

 

WATCH FILM | VIEW PLAYBILL | DOWNLOAD PHOTOS | PRESS RELEASE

 

After a full year of working on The Durojaiye Siblings – A Shared Journey of Dreams, the film premiere date finally arrived. Not even a torrential rainstorm that appeared out of nowhere and slowed traffic to a crawl, could deter our team and panel of experts. Afterall, this is the first time that Barry University had produced a full-length film focused on alumni success and we planned to set a high standard.

Inside the Gato Gallery on our Miami Shores campus, the audio-visual team was eagerly conducting final sound checks. The hors d’oeuvres were perfectly arranged in the adjoining room along with crisp white table linens, gorgeous floral centerpieces and, of course, an autograph station. The red carpet was rolled out anticipating the arrival of our film stars.

Kim Beers, executive producer, was mentally rearranging the show’s agenda just in case the rain required her to accommodate the late arrival of our honored guests. Friends of the film leads had already started to arrive, and faculty were sending texts to let the team know they were indeed stuck in traffic. At one point, Edwin Jubis from the audio-visual staff held up his phone and announced that traffic was “red in all directions” around campus.

Then suddenly, as if by magic, the rain stopped. Everything was right back on track as our honored guests arrived. Friends and colleagues, hugged, laughed, and took turns getting photographs on the red carpet.

The studio audience listened intently as the executive producer shared necessary instructions and introduced the La Barra film team, while enjoying a sneak peek of the evening as they thumbed through their playbills. The excitement was palpable as the panel of experts took their seats at the front of the room.

At exactly 7:00pm, Dr. Jeff Ritter greeted the live and virtual audiences, then proceed with the main event, the historic and inspiring film premiere. Inside the Gato Gallery the audience was very engaged; clapping, laughing, and even crying at some of the testimonial moments and stories expressed by Bukky and Dapo. Our virtual guests commented throughout the film with congratulations and reflections of pride and emotional connection. One virtual viewer even shared, “Goosebumps just listening and watching.”

 

Another viewer wrote, “Congratulations to you both. Nigeria and the black race is very proud of you. May you continue to grow in stature, knowledge and find favor with God and humanity.”  

When the film concluded, the honored guests took their places back in the front of the room. Each panelist had an opportunity to speak about what it felt like to be featured in the film. Next, they fielded unscripted questions from the virtual audience.

Bukky and Dapo answered questions about how their experiences at Barry prepared them for their fellowships, their resilience arriving in a new country, important lessons they have learned thus far in their careers, advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar fellowship, and what they missed most about Nigeria.

Bukky Ogunrinde of ACHE South Florida, spoke eloquently about the importance of students getting involved with industry professionals and networking as early as possible. She holds Bukky and Dapo in high regard for their involvement and commitment to making the most of every professional opportunity.

After 25 minutes of Q&A, Dr. Ritter thanked the audience, and the virtual portion was concluded. Inside the Gato Gallery the audience erupted into applause. Cheering, standing, and rushing toward the honored guests while the sound of popping champagne corks could be heard in the background.

Once the guests all received champagne, Antonio Paris made a heartfelt speech. He began with a very touching tribute to Bukky, Dapo and their mother. He shared the joy he felt in filming their experiences and being included in a small way in their lives. He thanked Kim Beers for leading this effort with tireless patience and dedication to a project that at times required an incredible amount of work, vision and coordination. He thanked Pamela Johnson for stepping in when the original writer was not able to continue this project. And, of course, he thanked Francisco “Pancho” Roa for together producing such an exceptional piece.  Moved by the moment, Bukky and Dapo each took the floor to toast to their supporters along this journey.  Cheers!

The crowd retreated to the banquet room where they enjoyed authentic food dishes from Nigeria, dessert and camaraderie. Photos on the red carpet continued while Bukky and Dapo signed autographs and distributed movie posters.

Celebrating the success of our alums and this event was the perfect ending to a yearlong project and a first for Barry University.

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