As Spanish inspired-cocktails and tapas abounded, FILLER and the cast of Julia’s Eyes indulged in pre-screening festivities at the Civello salon on Queen. Moody lighting cast a sensuous spell that befell Aveda’s own Ray Civello, who wondered if the intimate transformation of his salon space might not indicate its potential as a perennial luxurious lounge. The film’s stunning lead, Belén Rueda, toasted with director Guillem Morales and producer Guillermo del Toro — that is, when del Toro was not on the street, engaged with the throngs of sci-fi fans who had flocked to see the director of Pan’s Labyrinth and cult film series Hellboy. Rueda looked an effortless beauty in her black knit blouse while sharing a cigarette and surveying the scene with the smartly-suited Morales.

A top-ticketed Midnight Madness premiere, the Spanish horror film sees Rueda in the role of the title character, a woman suffering from a degenerative eye disease. When Julia begins investigating into the mysterious suicide of her twin sister Sara, her vision, like her life, recedes into a dark world marked by unexplained deaths at the hands of a disturbed soul stalking her sight for want of her.

Exclusive and grand was the post-gala celebration thrown in honour of The Bang Bang Club’s world premiere. Co-presented by Aveda’s Ray Civello, the soirée invited guests into Civello’s own palatial Bridle Path home. A minimalist haven of Californian sensibility, full-length glass walls looked out on a pool deck lined with scented candles and framed by evergreens. National fashion icon George Whiteside mingled alongside honoured guests from the South African consulate, and Bang Bang Club director Steven Silver and producers Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron, while the film’s stars Ryan Phillippe and Malin Ackerman hung out near the DJ. Civello and Iron were spotted chatting over late night chocolate chip cookies and milk in the kitchen. Meanwhile, in the living room-turned-dance floor, Toronto-native Ackerman — dressed in a sensational red J. Mendel gown — danced to Madonna with old high-school friends.

The true story of four young photographers, The Bang Bang Club tells the harrowing story of a war-torn South Africa, and the efforts of a band of outsiders committed to exposing the truth of the apartheid’s last bloody days.

Special thanks to Candice Best of Best PR Boutique, AVEDA, E1, PMK-BNC, Out of Africa Entertainment, Foundry Films, and the gracious Ray Civello.