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.
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.
Film Courage: How many pages is the script?
Aprille: The script is about 75 pages and we had 4 rewrites. We shared it with our support team, cast and crew. It’s also one of the Kickstarter Rewards!
Film Courage: In your campaign you say “I want people to walk away informed. I want survivors to walk away with a sense of inspiration in making their own transformation from circumstances that have overtaken them in their own pasts. It may not be rape – it could be anything a person would identify as overpowering.” What types of behaviors do you see from women or men who have had a horrific trauma in their lives and how they hold on to it throughout the years (whether they intend to or not)?
Aprille: Insecurities and trust issue show up in ugly ways in adults – it manifests itself if anything people attempt to build. Personal or professional dealings. Everything shapes us – the how it shapes us is what’s important. I don’t think people want to be guarded but I can see how one could be after this. Hell, I was. BUT we have to seek help and resources to heal, to get better and change our view.
Film Courage: How did you overcome self-blame or shame? How toxic is it to hang on to this?
Aprille: A lot of prayer and personal development. In the end, my mindset about the experiences in my life have a large bearing on how we hold onto things or choose to live in shame. At some point we have to truly let go of what could have been different about that day so we can truly move forward with what’s good in life waiting for us. Negative feelings and thoughts are toxic and I believe can do more damage than the act itself.
Film Courage: Have you shot the film?
Aprille: No haven’t. We will get funded 100% and are planning to shoot March 4-6th and pushing for a hard release in Oklahoma City on April 2nd.
Aprille: We’d love more backers to help us meet/exceed our goal. Supports can visit ResilientFilm.com to keep up with what’s happening with the movement and back us.
Film Courage: How long will UNBROKEN RESILIENCE be?
Aprille: It’s a short film – so less than 45 minutes. We’re thinking about 26-30.
Film Courage: Have you cast your actors?
Aprille: Yes we have. We found them all through relationships I’ve development with people over the years. That was honestly the easiest part.
Film Courage: For the woman who plays you in 1996, what qualities did you want to see in this actress (before you chose her)?
Aprille: I knew who I wanted to play a younger me when I first saw her in a talent competition in a local pageant several years ago. As I watched her dramatic piece, I said to myself, if I ever needed a person to play me, she (Claudia Donnell) would be it.
Film Courage: You’re hoping to raise $15,000 via Kickstarter to make UNBROKEN RESILIENCE. This amount seems very reasonable. How did you calculate this budget?
Aprille: It’s a pretty modest budget and we were able to do this by many of the people involved either reducing their fees or waiving them because they believed in the project and its movement. Based on the needs to produce a film in several categories – the break down is on the Kickstarter page.
Film Courage: How much have you had a heart-to-heart talk with the cast and crew about the film and its importance to you and society?
Aprille: OMG, they know. It’s so sensitive and this is my life we are talking about. When we shot the promo in December 2015 we spoke on it extensively and I also read the Chapter of the book that the film is based on. They said it hit home for them and it was very helpful and brought home the depth of the piece.
Film Courage: What do you want audiences to gain from watching UNBROKEN RESILIENCE?
Aprille: I want people to walk away informed. I want survivors to walk away with a sense of inspiration in making their own transformation from circumstances that have overtaken them in their own pasts. It may not be rape – it could be anything a person would identify as overpowering.
Film Courage: Should law enforcement, counselors and teachers see this film? Is our society helpful to rape survivors or do we impose blame on the victims?
Aprille: Everyone should see this film. Especially law enforcement, counselors and teachers – for the simple reason that those positions hold a level of influence and authority. When leveraged, those individuals can bring about awareness on a whole other level.
And yes, in my opinion, our society imposes blame on victims as if it’s so unbelievable that a man would actually rape a woman. It’s happens. It happened to me and I never in a million years would have thought it would.
Aprille: Of the 98 backers to date I know 92 of them. My online Facebook Community, the Coach, Speak & Serve Lounge is highly supportive and the vast majority of our backer came directly from there.
Film Courage: One of your perks for the campaign talks about a book you wrote? When did you write it? What’s it about? Where can we purchase a copy?
Aprille: One of my perks is called TRIFECTA and it’s a combo pack of the three books I’ve published over the past five years. Confessions of an Independent Woman: Truth, Lies & Relationships is where the movie was born – Chapter 3. The other two books are Anthology’s that I’ve compiled with over 40 women around the country in a series called, a Fabulous New Life. You can purchase them all on Amazon.
Film Courage: What is your advice to other trauma or rape survivors on self-blame?
Aprille: This is such a HUGE question. I’m not even sure I can answer it in full here.
Film Courage: Where do you develop your best ideas?
Aprille: In the shower or driving – so when I am mostly alone, with no distractions!
Film Courage: Quote or mantra that you live by?
Aprille: Be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Aprille: I have two documentaries in mind. One on life as a public speaker that I’d like to produce – showing the various aspects of what it takes to get to the stage. Then another one Mommy or Not on the various aspects of women and our choices to become mommies or not. I have a couple book projects in the making as well – one on Male Perspectives.
A Master Business Coach, Philanthropist and Thought Leader, Aprille Franks-Hunt is the Founder and CEO of Women Recharged, a transformational movement that amplifies women’s voices and triumphant stories of truth, and Coach, Speak & Serve™ (CSS), a next-level distance learning platform that helps modern-day authors, speakers and coaches maximize and monetize their messages. To date, both companies have served over 5,000 individuals globally with tools, resources, training and support establishing Aprille as the go-to expert for purpose-driven entrepreneurs who want to do business on a higher plane and , in turn, reap higher profits and make global expansion a reality.
Her whip-smart coaching philosophy is rooted in strategic planning, sustaining action and implementation, an approach she honed while revitalizing multi-million dollar commercial real estate portfolios as a consultant. When their high-stakes ventures were failing, investors and asset managers turned to Aprille to breathe new life into their businesses and bank accounts.
With CSS, Aprille has revolutionized the concept of online community building and engagement, establishing an elite, high-result society nearly 5,000 entrepreneurs who are impacting the world in monumental ways, from personal economic empowerment to social justice, in less than one year.
Her formula for success is simple – faith, action and continuous education. Aprille propels her clients forward with the tools they need to manifest their own destiny, move into purpose, ignite momentum – and most importantly, to sustain it.
Aprille understands that media, in all forms, is the best way to ensure her message gets out. With her recent anthologies, Fabulous New Life Volume I & II, she gave a select group of women a life-changing opportunity to share their authentic journeys to now, skyrocketing all 46, co-authors to best-seller status.
Aprille helps men and women, tell true life stories.