Clovis film debuts in Los Angeles, sheds light on domestic abuse

KP Phagnasay directs his lead actors Alena Gerard (left) and Ted Nunes (right) during the filming of “Impossible.” CONTRIBUTED BY STEVEN SANCHEZ

A Clovis short film is up for nine awards after making its debut in Los Angeles. The film, titled “Impossible” and directed by KP Phagnasay, premiered at the 168 Film Festival last month.

Founded in 2003, the 168 Film Project gives filmmakers 168 hours to create a 12-page screenplay based on a scripture or a theme.

“Impossible” is based on the real-life experience of leading actress Alena Gerard, who escaped an abusive relationship and found the strength to overcome the challenges.

For Gerard, it was a challenging, but rewarding project.

“It was extremely hard,” Gerard said. “As an actress you have to be able to give yourself authentically to the camera. I had to relive these moments that I had in my past. Even though it’s in my past, it became very real.”

Gerard said the reward was in sharing a piece of her story with people who are going through a similar situation, helping them realize there is hope. Gerard was approached by domestic abuse victims who relate to her experience – victims who felt ashamed, lost, guilty and broken.

“I feel that there are many men and women who go through the same thing every single day,” Gerard said. “They are being silenced because of shame or guilt. They’re not speaking about it or they’re not getting the help they need from family and friends.”

It was not only the public that felt the impact of the film, but also the crew on the set. Gerard saw that impact during a scene where her character and her husband were having an argument in the car.

The scene shows Gerard’s character staying in the car and experiencing a meltdown, while her husband walks out. As the crew filmed the scene, Gerard said the impact was felt through the silence on the set.

“It was really quiet because of the impact of someone walking out and not really listening to what is trying to be said,” Gerard said. “One of the cast members said, ‘Damn, I feel really bad.’”

The film emphasizes faith as a key aspect of Gerard’s ability to overcome domestic abuse.

“Being a stay-at-home mom, the only thing I could rely on was my faith,” Gerard said. “Faith helped me to be strong. It helped me to believe in something greater than what was going on in my current situation.”