Emmalie El Fadli always knew she wanted to write about what it’s like to fall for someone for the first time. Her latest short film, From A to Q, explores that territory in an honest and captivating way, telling the story of 22-year-old Alex (Sophie Rivers), who wakes up from a dream where she is kissing her best friend, Kayla (Holly Ashman).
In writing From A to Q, El Fadli drew from recent television shows such as Atypical and Teenage Bounty Hunters, which both feature female friends that become more than friends. Her own life also played a part in the film. “The story itself is very personal. It’s pretty much taken from my life,” shares El Fadli, who also directed and edited the short. “I’ve never told my best friend that I liked her, but my first proper lesbian relationship was with my best friend.”
One of the high points of the film is its engaging soundtrack. In one scene, Alex imagines that she and Kayla are dancing to “Lover” by Taylor Swift as the song plays in the background. But getting permission to use the song wasn’t so easy. Early on, El Fadli contacted one of Swift’s agents asking for the rights to Swift’s song, “Dress.” However, because Swift no longer owns the rights to “Dress,” Swift’s personal publicist suggested using “Lover” instead.
El Fadli is an assistant editor for films and television shows in England, but this is not her first time creating a short film. Her first short film, The Date, is about two women meeting on a first date after talking online. “With The Date, we just wanted to tell a story of a moment in time,” El Fadli shares. “We wanted to make a happy, positive lesbian film that didn’t have to have a storyline per se, and The Date came out of that.”
While The Date is currently available to screen on YouTube and Amazon Prime, most viewers will have to wait a bit longer to see From A to Q. For those living in the UK, the film is available through BFA Flare: London’s LGBTIQ+ Film Festival until March 28. But El Fadli is hopeful that From A to Q will soon be available in the United States.
The short film has already garnered buzz in the U.S. Earlier this month, both lead actresses and the film itself won awards at the Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival. In addition, From A to Q also earned an award of excellence for Best LGBTQ Short at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. You can follow From A to Q on Twitter for updates.
All in all, what’s most refreshing about From A to Q is how little it relies on tropes of coming out. “I don’t think of this film as a coming out film,” explains El Fadli. “For me, this film is a self-discovery film, like a journey to figuring out who you are.”