All posts by Donny Bennartz

POpovich:Road to hollywood

On Sunday, September 5, 2021 the world premiere of Popovich: Road to Hollywood was presented during the “Dances with Films” film festival held at TCL Chinese Theater.
The film stars Gregory Popovich, animal rights activist, producer and lifelong advocate of animal rights, along with Robin Slomina , Shannon Calcutt, Voki Kalfayan, Jimmy Slomina and Rex, the rescued dog also starring in the film.

Gregory Popovich performed tricks with his pets before the screening and attendants gave rave reviews for the film after its premiere. On an extremely hot day in Hollywood, a brief but extreme downpour of cats and dogs cooled off the day for all who attended.

La Jolla International Fashion Film Fest

The 12th annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Fest was held at The Lot in La Jolla, California on July 23rd and 24th, 2021.
With designers, models, filmmakers and more the red carpet was festive and colorful, followed by screenings of the top films and awards presented to the artists making them possible.




Several performances by music artists and dance innovators took place on the red carpet itself between guest arrivals as attendees sipped their favorite libations on a warm day by the ocean. Local and worldwide media covered this festive annual event and needless to say, a great time was had by all. Exposing the world to films, design and imagination in the realm of fashion is at the core of this event and La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival shines a bright spotlight on just that.

GUARDaHEART Foundation Presents Unmasked Heart Disease Featuring DIABETESpredict.

GUARDaHEART Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to fighting heart disease with the mission: “LEARN. DETECT. PREVENT.” GUARDaHEART works with strategic partners, healthcare providers, and other non-profit organizations to promote awareness through education and risk detection tools, to ultimately empower preventative action and reduce the risk of heart disease worldwide.

DIABETESPredict is an advanced genetic testing for the prevention of diabetes. DIABETESpredict is a laboratory test that provides a high-sensitivity and high-specificity evaluation of the genetic predisposition to develop diabetes.

PULS Cardiac Test is a simple, non-invasive blood test that predicts the likelihood of a patient having a heart attack within the next five years. It works by detecting the true leading cause of heart attacks: Unstable Cardiac Lesion Ruptures. PULS Cardiac Test Wins 2016 Diamond ABBY Award for Innovation in Healthcare.  Dr. Douglas H. Harrington is the inventor of the PULS Cardiac Test.  A complimentary PULS Cardiac Test was made available to any guest that wished to take the test at the event. 

Douglas S. Harrington, MD will speak about DIABETESpredict and PULS Cardiac Test. Dr. Harrington is the Chairman of the GUARDaHEART Foundation and a Fellow of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology and the American Society of Clinical Pathology. 

Estrella Harrington (Founder of GUARDaHEART Foundation), Dr. Douglas S. Harrington (Chairman of the GUARDaHEART Foundation, Fellow of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology), Braunwyn Windham-Burke (RHOC), Richard Nevels (Actor/ HBO’s Insecure), Jeremy Miller (Actor/ Growing Pains), Ryan James (Actor/ Amazon Prime’s The Underground Railroad), Deja Mattox, (Plays Savannah in Disney ‘Big Shot”), Dave Meadows (Military Navy SEAL, Producer), Simon Lunche (Music Artist), CC Perkinson (Lifetime actress, NBC reality star, Professional Jockey), Nimi Adokiye (Actress, Bob Hearts Abishola), Annie Nelson (Author & Founder of American Soldier Network), Dusty Lang (Six Gun Sal, Southern Rock Band -Rhythm Guitarist), Matt Geinitz, (six Gun Sal, Southern Rock Band-Bassplayer), Juliet Ramos (Model), Neil D’Monte (Actor Storyboard Artist), Michelle Ware, D.0. (Board Certified Physician, Owner of Los Feliz MedSpa), Tom Hallick (Young & Restless), Jane Galloway, (Dr Jane Galloway Founder of T.R.I.B.E.), Anthony Pazos (WE tv’s L.A. Hair,) attended or were expected to attend.

The event took place at a private residence in Newport Beach with drinks, heart healthy food and entertainment provided. Snacking and drinking libations while overlooking the bay filled with yachts, all while supporting good health is an ideal way to spend a Saturday in Southern California.

A Night of Shopping, SEx and Rock N Roll

 “A Night of Shopping, Sex + Rock N’ Roll with billion dollar disruptor and founder of the media dubbed “female  viagra” Cindy Eckert and Celebrity Fashion Designer Nikki Lund”, in Dallas, Texas was a tremendous success! The evening included the release of Nikki Lund’s newest Destiny collection inside MKT Store hosted by Nikki Lund and Cindy Eckert CEO/ Founder of Pink Ceiling. The night began with celebrity arrivals who graced the pink carpet as they mingled with the media. Amanda Orso, The High- Low Hostess entertained the star studded group with her Covid themed signature cocktails, aperitifs, and exquisite decor. All celebrities and media were gifted  a custom swag bag created by The High-Low Hostess. To top it off all guests will had a chance to shop Nikki Lunds Collection first! Special thanks to our sponsors; Didiani Beauty,Floetic Beauty, Vitabrid C12, Luxie Beauty, Kelly’s Kreations Soy Candles, Frenchie Baulè Vodka, Zonin, Haywire, and Baloons WOW.
Thank you to all celebrity talent that attended:  Nikki Lund, Cindy Eckert, Taylor Tomasi, Erica Rose (The Bachelor, Below Deck), Amanda Orso (High-Low Hostess), Manny Fresco (Social Influencer), Kari Brittingham (RHOD), D’Andra Simmons (RHOD), Cindi Rose (Married to Medicine), Dr. Jessica Sheperd and many more. 
ABOUT NIKKI LUND:

Growing up in Los Angeles, Nikki Lund cultivated the three unique passions that would come to define her empowering life journey and multi-faceted career. She can trace her success as a world renowned fashion designer to those moments she spent learning to sew watching her mother and grandmother. As a songwriter and musical artist, she was inspired by her mom, who sang Italian opera, and her dad, a bass player. Her performances and popular recordings with her brother Trevin (including the rock band Secret Minds and her current dance/pop tracks) had their roots in having their sister shoot artsy music videos when they were kids. And when Nikki sold $10,000 worth of butterfly hair clips on a trip to NYC at age ten, she offered a preview of her incredible ongoing run as the visionary fashion entrepreneur behind the global brands Eccentric Symphony, White Trash Beautiful and Nikki Rich.  

For the creative hyphenate, Renaissance woman and cultural tastemaker, all of these previous accolades laid the foundation for breakthroughs on all fronts in 2016. Returning to her first love of making edgy, high octane music, Nikki (recording with Trevin on guitar) kicked her career as a pop/dance artist into high gear with the release of her powerhouse single “Love Overdose.” The track, co-written with Lauren Christy of seven time Grammy winning songwriting/production team The Matrix, reached #12 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

She brings that same passionate spirit to her new Nikki Lund signature clothing line. The 200 item collection incorporates elements of her previous three brands. Nikki believes there is something effortlessly cool about California style, and her goal is to bring some of that breeziness to women’s wardrobes. Doing a little research into what makes women crave the style of “beach babes,” she learned that it’s because they are surprisingly polished, though it never feels like they try too hard to create a great outfit.

“The Nikki Lund signature line has some of the edgy elements of White Trash Beautiful and Nikki Rich,” she says, “and goes back to the Eccentric Symphony styled loungewear that allows savvy women consumers of all ages to dress up and dress down with a rock and roll edge. I focused a lot of my favorite silhouettes from throughout my career that are great for mix and matching, including blouses, dresses and jackets. It’s functional clothing, washables and wearables that translate to day or night wear.” 

Emerging as a force in the industry after cutting her teeth in the NYC fashion world working runway shows as an intern for Jill Stuart and Anna Sui, Nikki has put on dozens of wildly successful runway shows for her various lines. She has been widely celebrated for her sophisticated, fashion forward ready-to-wear designs and custom creations for a host of   superstars, including Carrie Underwood, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Plant, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger, Heather Locklear, Blake Shelton, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Steven Tyler and Britney Spears.

“My new brand Nikki Lund represents the first time I had enough faith in myself to launch a brand completely by myself,” Nikki says of the line, which is completely manufactured in Los Angeles. “I have the most fun creating something from nothing and seeing how people respond to my ideas and designs. I’ve always been a rock and roll chick pushing the envelope. When people check out my clothing and my songs, I want them to know I’m an outside the box thinker, a genuine, down to earth artist who is committed to the fashion and music industries for the long haul. I also create contemporary paintings and am a passionate ambassador for the children’s charity Art of Elysium. I’m working towards a future of value and usefulness. I like helping people with my God given talents. I am a funnel and will keep giving back and exploring all the limitless possibilities. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I have a purpose to fulfill!” As seen in; The U.S. Sun, Entertainment Tonight, Hollywood Life, Vogue 

ABOUT THE PINK CEILING CEO CINDY ECKERT:

Self-made and stiletto strapping, Cindy has built two businesses from scratch and sold them for record setting returns. Her exits total more than $1.5B. See why Fortune called her “a tireless force of nature” and Entrepreneur Magazine put her on their cover of Women to Watch.

Cindy has been featured in…

Entrepreneur | Fortune | The New York Times

Vanity Fair | Inc. | The Tim Ferriss Show

Forbes | TEDx | MSNBC | Fast Company

FIRST Annual “Ride for the rite”

May 29th ushered in a resurgence on Memorial Day weekend, a resurgence of freedom, support for veterans and music for all. Held at the Scottish Rite Cultural Center in Long Beach, performances by Scott Gronsky, Kimberly Dawn and headlines by Southern Rock band Six Gun Sal helped raise much needed funds for homeless and disabled veterans.
Among the many sponsors included Hint Water, Double Cross Vodka and promoted by Kelly K Public Relations. Guests included Tito Ortiz, Amber Nichole Miller, Pam and Morris Chestnut, as well as a large host of others, all enjoying the beverages and food in the VIP room while celebrating the freedoms we enjoy as a result of our brave men and women of the military.
No masks were required and after a year and a half of restrictions, I can only say the freedom of exposing our smiling faces was refreshing but pales in comparison to the freedoms our veterans fought and still fight for.

Legacy Charitable Foundation

 

The “Legacy Charitable Foundation” held its fifth annual Holiday Masquerade Ball on December 8 at The Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles.

In an effort to support “Echoes of Hope” which serves communities by helping children, youth and young adults in need by eliminating barriers and assisting them to reach their full potential, the Holiday Ball encouraged giving with this event which included, open bar, full sushi bar and catered dinner. Aside from creating awareness, the organization raises funds to bridge the gap between those in need and support the programs that help them strive.

The Legacy Charitable Foundation assists our community by promoting social welfare and supporting other non profit organizations with an emphasis on improving health research such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, homeless assistance organizations, disabled or sick youth, foster youth, education, financial literacy, low income family residences and overall well being of all people that are in need of hope. The evening climaxed with an electrifying performance by CeCe Peniston, (Best known for her hit single “Finally”) and other number one hits.

 

Attendees walking the red carpet included, CeCe Peniston who also performed later in the evening, actress Paloma Movales, actress Chanel Minnifield, Dr. Lisa Masterson of “The Doctors”, comedian Patrick Neal, Pol Atteu and Patrick Simpson of “Gown and Out in Beverly Hills” with their lovable dog “Snow White”, Celeste Thorson of “The Have and Have Nots”, Zack Levy of Legacy Foundation, Abraham Mehrian Chairman of The Legacy Foundation, Giovanna Healy Founder of “Sisters of Strength”, Jennifer Brown Legacy President, Bill Mena board member of Legacy Foundation, Gonzalo Cruz Schiavone board member and Sylvia Valdiva of The Legacy Foundation. Holiday season is a time for reflection and giving and giving they did.

The World’s Big Sleep Out Los Angeles

On a rainy night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, caring citizens and organizations alike gathered for the “World’s Big Sleep Out” in an effort to raise funds and awareness to Los Angeles and the world’s homelessness crisis. Presented by “Charity On Top”, the event also took place in 50 locations around the world. The event promotes the fight against homelessness by inviting participants to sleep outdoors for the night to express their solidarity with those experiencing having nowhere indoors to rest their heads. 

Live musical performances, food and informational booths set up by local advocates offered resources and contact information for those in need and for those wishing to contribute and raise awareness to those affected.

                       

Opportunities to donate immediately were available throughout the night via text and phone as contact numbers were viewed on big screens around the stage.

”Charity On Top” is an innovative ecosystem for individuals and companies who wish to infuse charitable giving with their lives and work and supports charities worldwide as well as local charities and initiatives, including Downtown Womens Center, Youth Emerging Stronger, West Coast Care, New Directions for Veterans, Los Angeles Mission, Union Rescue Mission, The People Concern, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission and Everybody In powered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles. All of these organizations can be found by typing in all lower case with no spaces, followed by .org (example) westcoastcare.org

MC for the night was Sean Kingston with musical performances by Rip Tide Blues Band, Meghan Trainor, Randy Jackson All Star Band (featuring) Orianthi), Ellie Goulding, Ziggy Marley and the evening’s festivities ended with a bedtime story from Seth Green to calm the participants who were committed to and passionate enough to brave the chilly, rainy night outdoors in only sleeping bags.

Marie Westwood Magazine Party

Marie Westwood Magazine, powered by the Ivan Bitton Style House celebrated the 2019 Winter Edition at the historic Cedars Estate on Monday, December 2.

 

The “Great Gatsby” themed and invite only party started at the door with champagne offered to all arrivals upon entrance. Lavish, early twentieth century inspired attire was donned by guests, models and celebrities depicting the era.

A live performance by Laura Pieri and a fashion showcase featuring Ivan Bitton Style House designers highlighted the festivities as guests partied and danced the night away to the DJ’s rhythm inspired selections. Unveiled were the “Special K” lingerie collection by Madame Methven,  designs by Sue Wong and “Exotics” by Cedrick.

 

The Cedars Estate, currently owned by designer Sue Wong has a  long history in Los Angeles and has hosted such great visitors and residents such as Bela Lugosi, Howard Hughes, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Johnny Depp. It is here that Jimi Hendrix allegedly wrote “Purple Haze” and the estate has been featured in several movies including “Sunset Boulevard” and “Easy Rider”.

Special guest Mario Lopez and guests pleased their palate on hors d’oeuvres and champagne while a full bar offered other more adventurous guests a variety of cocktails, mock tails and more. The nearly 8500 square foot home was crowded with partygoers throughout the night and although there are rumors that the estate is haunted, there was nothing scary about the festive interest of fashion, design and a classic Hollywood celebration.

“Eastsiders” Premiere

Cast members and producers of the Netflix series “Eastsiders” gathered at the Downtown Independent to premiere the fourth and final season on December 1, 2019.

Kit William’s Emmy nominated and LGBTQ series has been nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards and only reinforces the desire for more diversity in the world of entertainment.

“Eastsiders” won Best Ensemble at Indie Series Awards as well as 10 other Indie Series Awards in 2016.

American Music Awards pre party and gifting suite

The Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood was the location for an American Music Awards pre party on November23, 2019. Hosted by GBK Productions, appetizers and fine wine was served as celebrities from many genres were gifted high end products from vendors with an eye on Hollywood.

A full DJ set was performed by Jes Danz and dancing was not only allowed, (This was not Footloose) but encouraged. The after party spilled into the bar and pool area as the evening grew late with several live acts performing for the enthusiastic crowd.

Stars from Ozark, Days of Our Lives, American Idol, Good Girls, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless,  Entourage, Stumptown, Arrested Development, Famously Single and others attended and partied the night away with great eats in their belly, love in their hearts and a cache of gifted goodies.

All photos by Bennartz