THE LAST DROP, 41min., USA
Directed by Adam Joel
A young woman links minds with her boyfriend using a device that lets couples relive shared memories— but when she spots overlooked signs of abuse, she must escape before he can manipulate her memories in his favor.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I never learned about "emotional abuse" until after I had already experienced it. That really hurt me! As I connected with other survivors, I realized we all had that in common— we only learned about the early signs of abuse in hindsight. That's how I was inspired to make The Last Drop— a sci-fi journey inspired by the memories of real-life survivors (like me!)
Abuse thrives in silence. That's why I'm using this film to launch an international impact campaign to change the way we learn about abuse, heal from it, and legislate it. More specifically, we're starting conversations about the lesser known forms of abuse— like gaslighting, digital abuse, emotional abuse, and more.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
4 years! I'm a nut about feedback. I literally have a 50-page google doc labeled "feedback" where I wrote down personal stories and screenplay notes from a whole bunch of survivors, filmmakers, friends, family members, film professors, abuse experts, and more. I call this my "Communal Storytelling" method— writing through conversation. Especially in films with a sensitive subject, it's important to incorporate other people's perspectives— and it's much easier to make changes while the film is still a screenplay.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Trauma! Luckily I'm an open book now. With therapy + time + positive relationships with the people around me, I was able to tell a really challenging personal story and turn that pain into something positive.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I teared up! I felt so seen, because y'all saw a lot of the nuanced choices I was making and really connected with the story's message that emotional abuse counts.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I started making videos long before I knew it would be my career. I've been creating goofy little sketches and nonprofit videos since around 8th grade.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Fantastic Mr. Fox or The Incredibles— I'm a kid at heart!
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Help fund travel & lodging for winning filmmakers! The digital connection you create between filmmakers and film-lovers is fantastic, but if you could help us attend in person, that would be even more special.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
So far, so good!
10. What is your favorite meal?
Pad See Ew. And vegan chocolate cake! (I recognize that's an odd pairing— and I stand by it!)
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm all about the impact campaign for The Last Drop right now! If you're reading this right now, I'd love to chat with you about how The Last Drop can support you and the people you care about. Together, we can end the silence on relationship abuse and chat about the path to healthier relationships. We're partnering with educators, community groups, and experts all across the world to host screening & discussion events (both in-person and virtually).
Visit https://www.thelastdropfilm.com/host to learn more!