Models Braina Laviena, Cenit Nadir and Frances Tomei Star in Nightshade | Flaunt Premiere

by Flaunt Editorial Staff

Today Flaunt premieres Nightshade, a Matrix-meets-the-runway short by B/\D duo photographer Benjamin Askinas and cinematographer Douglas Porter. Starring models Braina Laviena, Cenit Nadir and Frances Tomei, the clip also has a bit of a heist feel to it. "Braina and Cenit are hunting down a mysterious organic material that they eventually steal from Frances," Benjamin and Douglas explain. "Cenit and Braina plan to use this to inhale and, hopefully, take themselves to a new world." In an effort to build a dynamic set, Production Designer Vinny Zazzero and the team mined unique props from a junkyard.

 The casting for the two leads was quite easy for Askinas and Porter. They needed Spanish-speaking women ("We thought it would have a cinematic effect adding subtitles and that the Spanish would give the video a more international feel.") as leads and Laviena and Nadir both happen to be L.A.-based Puerto Ricans who they've worked with in the past. "We needed talent that we could trust and that could trust us in not wasting their time," they say. "We just knew that they could deliver in the moment and improve if need be."

Below, read why both Braina and Cenit wanted to be a part of the piece.

from left to right:  Braina Laviena and Cenit Nadir

from left to right: Braina Laviena and Cenit Nadir

What excited you about being a part of this short and your role?

Braina Laviena: I was excited to be part of this because not only would I be playing a bad-ass female character, but I would also be doing it alongside my best friend and with an amazingly talented team that I trusted. It was great playing into this alternate reality where our physical constrains didn't apply.

Cenit Nadir: What excited me about being part of this short was definitely working with my long time friend Braina, we've been friends for about 10 years now. So it was nice to do a short together, especially in Spanish-speaking roles. Also, Benjamin and Doug are awesome to work with and they always come up with the coolest ideas. It was nice to work with them again. 

What do you love about your looks in the short?

Braina: The looks played into our characters' personality and gave them more strength and dimension, which made it easier for us to slide in their skin and let go. I feel that the mix of overtly and covertly sexy pieces was key to establishing their bond and their power.

How did playing you characters make you feel?

Braina: I felt strong and powerful. Sexy on our own terms.

Cenit: The character made me feel pretty bold. She's not afraid to go out there to get what she wants and I loved that the outfits fit into that mold perfectly.

Film by B/\D
Starring Braina Laviena, Cenit Nadir & Frances Tomei
Production Design by Vinny Zazzero
Styled by Chaine Leyendecker
Make-up by Bridget O’Donnell
Original Music by Mikepan