A powerful and original short film about loss and hope, inspired by a true story.
COMING IN LATE-2019/EARLY-2020.
A lonely old man struggles to come to terms with the loss of his wife and the circumstances surrounding her death. When he visits her grave, he encounters a charming little girl who fills him with hope.
This film was made as part of the completion of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Film and Media from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
- To be announced
OFFICIAL SELECTION HIGHLIGHTS
- To be announced
- RICHIE ALLAN (Escape at Dannemora, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Elmer
- ELVIRA TORTORA as Abigail
- LAUREN HART as Woman at Cemetery
- LEILANI MARIE VASQEUZ as The Girl
- Directors | MAX HECHTMAN and CHRISTONIKOS TSALIKIS
- Screenplay | JASON K. ALLEN, MAX HECHTMAN and MERYL HECHTMAN
- Story | JASON K. ALLEN
- Producers | JASON K. ALLEN and MAX HECHTMAN
- Executive Producer MERYL HECHTMAN
- Directors of Photography | JOE DANIELE and JOE DeFELICE
- Editor | MAX HECHTMAN
- Music | ANDRÉS SOTO
Shot on location in Middle Village, NY and Merrick, NY with the SONY FS5 Camera and Lenses. Edited with the Adobe Create Cloud.
Film has the power to tell stories that could change the world, one person at a time. That is my mission as a filmmaker and Abigail is that kind of story.
In the summer of 2018, I discovered online a one-scene script about an elderly man named Elmer, who visits the grave of his wife, Abigail, and encounters a little girl who fills him with hope. As I read it, I was able to relate to Elmer, as I lost my dad to 9/11-related acute leukemia in Spring 2010 and I felt like this story would be the perfect basis for my senior thesis film for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Film and Media program.
When I proposed it to my Senior Production class, my professor saw its potential and asked me to expand upon the story, prompting me to ask myself: “Why did Abigail die? Is there a reason behind it?” “Why does the encounter between Elmer and the Girl happen?” “Why does Elmer look like he is not accepting Abigail’s death?” After discovering a NY Times article about an elderly couple who went through a similar situation with an end-of-life decision, I decided to use that as the basis for Abigail’s death and Elmer’s not accepting the circumstances surrounding it.
Throughout production of the film from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019, my co-director, Christonikos Tsalikis, and my mom, Meryl Hechtman, who served as executive producer, did everything in their power to help me bring my vision of the story and characters to life on screen. I was lucky enough to get the lead actor who plays Elmer in the film, Richie Allan (Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora; Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and three other professional actors to play these characters and put their own spins on them, creating emotional performances that I hope audiences will be able to relate to when they see this film.
There will be no other film like Abigail, a powerful story that anyone who has lost a loved one, no matter how old they were or what the cause of death was, could relate to, while providing the message that even in death, the person you loved so dearly will always be with you. I hope that after audiences see Abigail, that they can start open conversations about the film’s subject matter to help bring attention to the important social issue portrayed on screen and how it affects the lives of others.
We all have a voice. A voice with the power to change the lives of millions. And through the medium of film, the impact of that voice can strengthen in ways that no one can imagine.
– Max Hechtman