A Young Woman’s Survivor Perspective — Aprille Franks-Hunt on Her Upcoming Short Film UNBROKEN RESILIENCE About Rape
Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Aprille Franks-Hunt: I grew up all over. I used to say I am a child of the world. My father was in the Army and I spent the majority of my childhood in Germany. Home life was challenging — being adopted and dealing with the “why am I different” was always in my mind after I was told. My parents (while now have a great relationship), when I was younger, it was very hostile — so that was a challenge for me in various way that I share in my memoir that my film is based on, Confessions of an Independent Woman: Truth, Lies & Relationships.
Film Courage: Which of your parents do you resemble most?
Aprille: Resemble? Hmmm. Well, I’m adopted — so if we’re talking looks neither really. Although some people say I look like my mother. But I certainly act like my father — he’s sharp, humorous, a bit ornery and slightly sarcastic. So both!
Film Courage: What were your plans after high school?
Aprille: I was bored with high school and dropped out the first day of my senior year. My plans where to find a job and work — save money and be successful. At that time I had no idea what success would look like or what it even meant. What I did know was that I had drive and I could do anything I put my mind too. That is still true today. I didn’t really know what path that was — so I didn’t have a “route” planned. My life has organically evolved into the success I’ve attained today.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Aprille: I did not. I am such a newbie at this — but what I am good at is creating and sustaining energy. I make sh*t happen — and with the internet anyone can do anything if they are committed to it.
Film Courage: Are you comfortable sharing what happened to you when you were 19?
Aprille: Very. I have no hang ups with discussing being a rape survivor. It’s no longer about me — it stopped being about me a long time ago. My story heals and helps others — that’s more important.
Film Courage: Briefly, how did the next few years after the rape affect you and your life?
Aprille: It f*cked me up. It made me guarded and angry — it turned me into a person I didn’t want to be. Then when I began to work on myself and evolve out of that experience, it really has enhanced my life. Meaning, I am a better, stronger and more committed woman as a result of everything I’ve overcome. I can’t regret it or wish it away.
Film Courage: You mention in your Kickstarter campaign video, that it’s been 20 years since the rape? How have these 20 years been in terms of your life experience and path?
Aprille: Oh wow. Life is a teacher — always something to learn. I’ve had a very interesting Tyler Perry movie type life. Lots of one of a kind experiences, some great and some not so much. I love life and truly am grateful for everything that has come across my path. I’ve grown as a result of it all.
Film Courage: At what point did you let go of anything holding you back to begin to tell people about being a survivor?
Aprille: I’d say a couple years after it happened — but I really began to speak out when I wrote about it in my book.
Film Courage: You’ve backed several other Kickstarter campaigns. How much research did you do with running a crowdfunding campaign? What did you see was helpful for a campaign to receive a donation and what made you question it?
Aprille: I’ve backed at least 10 Kickstarters because I wanted to support the industry I am emerging into and I can’t expect other people to support me if I am unwilling to support others like me. I did a ton of research — the Kickstarter was rather exhausting and it’s a daily push to get people to back your project. I read blogs, watched ton of videos and created a movement around the campaign. What was helpful for me to make a donation was did it have enough DETAILS in the story line to make it a believable project — those are the ones I backed. I saw many where I was actually disappointed in the person for not doing the work. There is too much free info online on how to run a successful campaign to put no effort into it.
Film Courage: When did you decide to make this short film, UNBROKEN RESILIENCE?
Aprille: I decided about 6 months before I launched the campaign.
Film Courage: Did anyone try to talk you out of making the film or only support you?
Aprille: People have only been supportive. Anyone who is non-supportive is probably hiding under a rock so I’ll never know it!
Film Courage: What was the day (or night) like that you sat down to write the script for UNBROKEN RESILIENCE?
Aprille: Because this film is based on Chapter 3 of my memoir, Confessions of an Independent Woman: Truth, Lies & Relationship, the script was basically written. I wrote it in the evening and it wasn’t that challenging because the framework was already there. My co-write, Nikki Woods, made it more seamless and tied in transitions I didn’t know to tie in. So it worked well.