It wasn't the Oscars, but the red-carpet treatment for the movie "Because He Likes Me" had a special feel.
The premiere of the locally produced film had all the celebrity trappings of photo ops and special appearances by the stars. But it had a very serious message: stop domestic violence no matter how early and how innocent it seems.
Dr. Romeatrius Moss is the director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurse Association, the organization that produced the film. At age 7, a little boy pulled her hair at school.
"I would go home and say, 'Mom, he pulled my hair and I don't like it.' And it was like, 'Oh, baby, it's because he likes you. That's how boys are.' And even at that age, I was like this doesn't sound right."
The Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence was a collaborating partner in the project.
"It really addresses our mission statement and our philosophy of educating the children and early prevention," said Sandra Morrison, executive director of the center. "And not just the children, but having the community involved the parents, other stake holders involved."
The movie began as a documentary, but director John Lestrade soon moved into a fictional depiction of real-life cases.
It took about six months to produce using Coast actors and resources.
"This gave us an opportunity to show our creativity," Lestrade said. "I'm a filmmaker. I strive to make the best product possible. Little did we know that it would turn into a red carpet feature though. And the subject material is about domestic violence. We were looking for shock and awe, and the shock and awe was told in their stories."
The movie will be released on YouTube and on the website, www.dvpstartshere.org.