The Last Drop

The mental state resulting from a series of conflicts in the final stages of preparation destroys everything in the competition that Kata and the full rhythmic gymnastics team worked on together.

The Last Drop
Anna Tőkés
Producer: József Fülöp (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary)
Target audience: Young adults
Technique: Digital hand-drawn 2D

The Last Drop is a short film project which was selected in the ‘Rising Stars’ category at CEE Animation Forum 2021. It will tell a story on rhythmic gymnastics and spotlights the mental conflicts among the players of a team sport.

The idea of the story came from the director’s own rhythmic gymnastics experiences, and the film will follow the journey of a girl from training session to competition as a member of the national team.

We heard from Anna Tőkés, the director, on the story behind the film project.

Interview with Anna Tőkés

Hideki Nagaishi (HN): Could you let us know the key points of your new animated short film project that you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Anna Tőkés: This is a sports movie which talks about the abuse of power and its effects. What interests me the most for the topic is the rhythmic gymnastics team dynamics: how they react to oppression and why they do, or do not stand up for their team mates.

The film shows the emotional journey that the protagonist goes through from having a goal to completely losing everything she ever fought for.  My aim is to be as authentic as possible, but represent the emotional stages by using the tools that animation provides.

HN: What kind of message do you want to deliver to the audience the most through what the protagonist experiences in the national rhythmic gymnastics team?

Anna Tőkés: My aim is to highlight the value of having someone (or a whole team in this case) to hold our back on the days when everything is too overwhelming to stand alone.

With my film, I would like to trigger a dialogue about the importance of mental strength and what is really needed when someone in power is using their position to suppress others.

HN: What are you taking care in the most when writing the story of the film?

Anna Tőkés: Those are its message and authenticity. For me, it is important to have a clear message, and I believe a non-authentic environment would distract audience. The characters, the clothes and the places will be shown as you would possibly see on a real rhythmic gymnastics competition. I want to show this sport without idealizing or presenting it in a bad light so people can really focus on the message of the film, and the dynamic of what happens with these teenage girls.

HN: What part of rhythmic gymnastics do you want to depict or express the most by using the digital hand-drawn 2D animation technique in the film?

Anna Tőkés: It is a great opportunity for my characters to be authentic elite athletes and great actresses at the same time with the animation technique. It also gives me freedom to show the choreography in a more precise and sensitive way. And it enables me to paint and present emotional changes through my own graphic style in surreal scenes.

HN: Could you let us know the most important characteristic and goal of the visual design of characters and the universe for the story? And what is the main goal of that?

Anna Tőkés: I am still working on the final visual style. But for sure, the girls should be skinny and muscular at the same time. They have to look different enough from each other to be able to easily separate them, but similar enough to look as a whole on the competition. This can be a tool for me to show why it is so heartbreaking for the protagonist girl to be different from the others.

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