The premiere of A Nice Guy, on August 25th, italicized the motives of writer, producer, and lead actress Dominque Nieves who often uses her short films to take a stand.
The dramatic short, directed by Shae D’Lyn, follows the story of smitten Kenneth (Kelvin Grullon), who becomes angry after seeing his coworker Dana (Dominque Nieves) flirt with their free-spirited co-worker Jamie (Amilcar Javier). Things take a serious turn once Dana explains her interests in Jamie comes from a very dark experience in her past relationship. Despite her best efforts, a conversation with Jamie is what gets Kenneth to understand Dana’s plight.
“My character wasn’t successful in telling Kelvin’s character what happened. It was a man that got through to him,” Dominque explains, “that’s because people think this is a woman’s issue, but it’s not. It’s a man’s issue. Most perpetrators of violence against women are men, and so the only people who can stop rape are men.”
Nieves’ passion on this topic comes from her work in sexual violence response and prevention, as well as her own background. As a proud Nuyorican, it saddens Nieves to admit that statistics show Puerto Rico has one of the highest rates of intimate partner violence in the world. This film is her way of commenting on this crisis without actually naming the issue. “I purposely never use the word rape in the screenplay,” Nieves admits, “when we made this story, it was underrepresented; this idea that just because you’re dating someone, you owe them your body. No one told it through that lens.”
Although the film wrapped, after only eight hours, and was submitted to film festivals before the movement; “MeToo” very much helped exacerbate the message of this film. “I’m glad to see that campaigns like ‘MeToo’ have shed light on the experiences women face on a daily basis,” Kelvin shares, “seeing ‘A Nice Guy’ selected to festival after festival further affirms that its story must be told.”
“A Nice Guy” will next be shown at the Official Latino Short Film Festival in NYC on September 26th at 8pm. To support this short, be sure to purchase a ticket to future screenings on IronGloveProductions.com; where you can also subscribe to the mailing list and keep up with the cast.