At the first night of the BAMcinemaFEST, Robert Redford was milling about, but all eyes were on E.J. Bonilla and Gleendilys Inoa, the stars of Don’t Let Me Drown, the Brooklyn-set film that kicked off the festival.
After the film, contestants participated in film trivia while munching on Grimaldi’s pizza,
while nearby folks donned costumes and had their photos taken with fake
Academy Awards. Upstairs, a more sedate crowd swilled cocktails made
from taurine-infused vodka, pomegranate juice and soda and milled
between snack tables and the dance floor.
Bonilla and Inoa
were dancing with friends, gabbing and smiling. Bronx-born Inoa told us
she’s not much like her character Stefanie, who struggles with
overprotective parents.“It’s not how I grew up,” she said. Any
similarities? “Yeah, there are a lot of girls in my neighborhood who
talk just like that,” she admitted in reference to Stefanie’s
f-bomb-heavy New York twang.
Electric sliding up to Bonilla,
we asked the heartthrob if he was like his character. Sort of. In the
movie, his character pees on his shoes, so we asked about the strangest
place he’d ever gone.Thankfully, he took it in stride.“Probably in the
car on a road trip.You go into a bottle and then throw it out the
window. Or on the train tracks at the 8th Avenue L,” he said with a
smile.“But if I peed in a straight line, it would have come back at me,
so I went sideways.”
Which is exactly the direction we shuffled off in.