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Synopsis: As she finally finds time in her busy schedule, DEVON TOUT visits home to convince her mother, MRS. TOUT, who is a painter living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), to apply to a clinical trial Devon believes would be the best fit for her. Tension rises at dinner, where Devon learns through her mother and their friendly caregiver, ANA CAMPOS, that Mrs. Tout is currently applying to a local clinical trial that Ana suggested.

As Devon feels left out from the decision-making and closeness that her family has with each other, the clinical trial rejects Mrs. Tout as her condition is far too advanced. As the family copes with the news, feeling a big sense of guilt, Ana quits being Mrs. Tout’s caregiver. Devon learns this as she comforts her younger sister, TAYLOR TOUT, who reads Ana’s resignation letter to her.

Later that night, Devon shows up at Ana’s apartment and confronts her for quitting her family. They have a heart to heart and Devon convinces Ana to come back to her family.

As the family and Ana adapt to Mrs. Tout’s body getting weaker and new limitations with her ALS, Mrs. Tout struggles with the loss of her ability to paint. Later, Devon reorganizes the garage and her mother’s paintings, she stumbles across some tools and brainstorms an idea to help her mother be able to paint again.

Devon runs back to her family and takes them to a surprise spot where she has all of her mother’s painting tools. Devon places a helmet with a taped brush on it on her mother’s head as Ana and Taylor bring paint for Mrs. Tout to try. The family comes together as Mrs. Tout moves her head towards the canvas to paint her first stroke. The family finds a new way to find hope.

Genre

Drama

Language

English

Run Time

14 minutes

Starring

Becka Adams (Devon Tout)
Cameron Quinn (Mrs. Tout)
Lys Perez (Ana Campos)
Halston Autumn McMurray (Taylor Tout)

Directed by

Ericka de Alexander

Written by

Hannah Kelley
Ericka de Alexander

Produced by

Noémie Sornet
Trisha Golec

Edited by

Madeleine Roche

Composer

Annie Rosevear

Cinematographer

Becky Baihui Chen

Director's Statement

“The First Color” is the story of a fragmented family, and a daughter who wants to find the best treatment for her mother’s terminal disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Throughout the family’s journey, they find that sometimes doors close, but that time is invaluable. That even during dark times, you can always find a way to discover and redefine your happiness– that an illness does not have to take everything away from you; that it does not have to define who you truly are.

Director's Bio

Ericka de Alexander is a Mexican-British writer/director and producer from Cuernavaca, Mexico. She obtained her Undergraduate degree in TV and Film Production from the University of Southern California in 2019. During her time at USC, Ericka co-wrote, produced, and directed the American-Italian dramedy, “Il Breakup”, which premiered at the Aero Theatre and won 1st place in the Short Film Contest at the Cinema Italian Style Film Festival in 2018. Her style focuses on exploring the inner-self through hope, vulnerability, and seeking the extraordinary within the ordinary. She focuses on magical realism and drama genres, with a touch of Mexican and Japanese cultures. Ericka’s most recent short film is “The First Color”, a story that explores relationships of a family living with ALS and finding hope. Ericka directed and co-wrote the short film, which premiered at the “LA Shorts International Film Festival” in 2020 and has been picked up for distribution by The Disorder Channel.

Aside from directing, Ericka has produced numerous short films that have been official selections for festivals such as “Austin Film Festival”, “San Diego International Film Festival”, and “Taiwan International Queer Film Festival”.

Production Year

2020

Official Website

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