Local Detroiters wrap up filming

By KreCynthia Day

Contributing Reporter

“Darling Nikki” is finally being brought to life on film after being written nearly four years ago and local Detroiters who contributed to the film are preparing for its upcoming premier.

“You look at John Singleton, Spike Lee … they started in their hometown by introducing their culture, city and history to show those in their area that if they strive for what they want, they can achieve it,” said Kharisman Brown, writer of the film, which is his first.

“Detroit is already the founding city of Motown and now it’s time to show we have talented actors and people who work behind the scene.”

“[This movie is] kind of like an urban soap opera,” Brown said. The story is about a Heisman-hopeful football player, Korey, whose life is turned upside down after he falls in love with an exotic dancer. He goes to his cousin for help but finds himself getting into a little more than he expected.

As a side plot, Korey’s younger sister, Darling, (Sasha Gorre) is struggling as she comes into womanhood and makes some bad choices herself.

“He’s trying to save his career and his sister,” said Mike Allen, who plays the role of Korey.

Brown said “Darling Nikki,” an independent film, caters to Detroit. He believes it relates to the lives of everyday people from the city.

The film’s director, Shawn Woodard, Brown, Allen and many other members of the cast grew up in Detroit.

“Usually when people like Hollywood directors make films about Detroit they show the bad side, the stereotypes that have been around for decades. I thought this would be a good opportunity to show the different sides of Detroit,” Woodard said.

“A lot of good things are going on in the city, for instance, the rebuilding. There are lawyers, college people and people with goals in the film. I wanted to show Detroit, the

different side, just keeping it real,” he said.

Woodard has been a director for about six years and said “Darling Nikki” gave him a chance to do something in another genre. In the past, he has directed an action thriller, horror film and a few music videos.

Allen, who has worked on at least eight other films, said that he got involved because he liked the script, story line and the family values that his character has. He said he found him and his character to be very similar.

“I like my family to be tight and for everybody to stay close. I don’t want anybody hanging out and doing the wrong thing,” Allen said.

Brown said he wrote the movie because he was tired of seeing all the same types of films. He said he wants to make clear to his audience that this urban film is different from others that people may be used to seeing.

“It’s not your typical shoot ’em up, bang-bang movie; it has a good storyline,” Brown said.

“It has a message, positive messages, some that are easy to notice and some a little more hard to find. I also think it showcases different facets of life and the strength of a family bond,” Brown said.

“Darling Nikki” sets out to shed a positive light on the city of Detroit and to show viewers that there is always an alternative in life.

“You do control your destiny. You can make the decision to be successful. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to get ahead in life,” Woodard said.

There will be a red carpet premiere of the film from 3-9 p.m., Nov. 8 at Bert’s Warehouse in downtown Detroit. For ticket information call (313) 452-5923.