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SHORT BUS

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A feature film by Sternman Productions.

Stand By Me meets Holes.

On a desert work detail, the kids from D Block juvenile detention are framed for a heist and use their collective criminal insight to turn the tables and take a shot at freedom.

When a mining operation hits gold unexpectedly, the technicians split into two groups. Both sides want to hide the fortune from their employer, a selenium prospecting firm, and independently approach Cunningham, the head of security. Cunningham decides to kill them all and take the gold, but he needs to cover his tracks. A small group of inmates, the hard cases from D Block, are sent out into the nearby desert on a work detail as part of the plan. The dead technicians will look like casualties in an escape gone wrong. Everything is planned with military precision, but the junior criminals from D Block are far more resourceful than anticipated. While they attempt to reverse the set-up, they tell their origin stories and come to an empowering new understanding of who they are, what they are supposed to be, and what they might become instead.

Writer Jeff Johnson was on D Block in the Albuquerque Juvenile Detention Center in 1985. Shot entirely in New Mexico with a cast that is primarily Hispanic, Short Bus is a noir designed to showcase emerging talent while making the most of film incentives.

“Jeff Johnson is a gifted and natural storyteller, and he knows about things you don’t know.”--John Irving, Academy Award Winning author of Cider House Rules

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Thomas Hildreth (actor/producer)

Thomas Hildreth is an actor/producer and the owner/founder of Sternman Productions. He seeks out original material from emerging screenwriters and playwrights for development/production in film and theatre. He is currently developing several film and TV projects with screenwriter Jeff Johnson to be shot on location in Maine. 

Recently, Thomas produced and starred in the 2015 Award-Winning feature film CHILD OF GRACE, a crime thriller shot in Millinocket, Maine, with Emma Myles (Orange Is The New Black), Ted Levine (The Bridge, Silence Of The Lambs), and James Parks (The Son, The Hateful Eight). The film is distributed worldwide by Mission Pictures International and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. 

Thomas also produced and starred in the critically acclaimed feature film ISLANDER, filmed on coastal Maine, with Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity, Flashpoint), Larry Pine (House Of Cards), and Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia). The award-winning film opened in film festivals nationwide in 2006 and played in theaters in major markets throughout the U.S. in 2007, receiving great reviews from leading publications including the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, Variety, and Hollywood Reporter.

Among his numerous TV and theatre credits, Hildreth has starred and produced world premieres of Padraic Lillis’ “Lights Up On The Fade Out” in Los Angeles and Sharyn Rothstein’s “The Invested” in New York. A Maine native, Thomas attended Connecticut College, New York University, and received an MFA from Rutgers University. He lives in New York with his wife and five small children.

Jeff Johnson (writer/director)

Jeff Johnson is a novelist and screenwriter. He's the author of the critically acclaimed Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories & My Life in Ink (Spiegel & Grau 2007), as well as Everything Under the Moon: a Novel (Soft Skull Press, 2016), Knottspeed: A Love Story (Turner, 2017), Deadbomb Bingo Ray (Turner, 2017), and Lucky Supreme: A Novel of Many Crimes (Arcade, 2016), A Long Crazy Burn: A Darby Holland Crime Novel (Arcade, 2017), and The Animals After Midnight: A Darby Holland Crime Novel (Arcade, 2018). Lucky Supreme was recently published by Italian publisher Fanucci . Johnson’s latest short story, Cantina Kinjiku, will appear in the upcoming Killer Crimes Anthology alongside Steven King and Joyce Carol Oates. Lucky Supreme, A Novel Of Many Crimes was recently named one of the top 25 novels of 2017 by MEDIUM/The Know. Deadbomb Bingo Ray has been optioned for television, announcement forthcoming. Short Bus, a noir film set in New Mexico, written and directed by Jeff Johnson, is in production.

Jeff Johnson is represented by Lane Heymont at The Tobias Literary Agency.

Mark Harris (executive producer)

Mark R. Harris’ extraordinary career began on Wall Street, providing him with the strong, financial background from which he became a pioneer in both talent management and film and television production packaging.

In 1983, as an agent, he pioneered the concept of representing independent producers to form their own television production companies where they owned the negatives of their movies and created film libraries. Harris packaged the most successful television series of all time, Baywatch.

Harris also launched many output deals with Showtime Networks to produce and distribute programs internationally. Among his clients were the Producers of (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, The Saint, and Clear and Present Danger) and IRS World Media.

While under Mark’s auspices, Regent launched several successful films including the Academy Award-winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, Gods and Monsters. Other awards included Gods and Monsters Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Sir Ian McKellen (Best Actor) and Lynn Redgrave (Best Supporting Actress), in addition to winning Best Feature Film at the 1999 Independent Spirit Awards.

In 2002 Mark Harris was able to launch his own film development and production company. As the Harris Company, Mark was able to convince film partner Paul Haggis, to take a television idea Paul had and turn it into a spec feature film script first. That project was later financed and produced with Mark Harris’s efforts to become the 2005 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, CRASH, which also won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. Paul Haggis was able to retain Director control through Harris’s efforts. Harris has produced over 20 films and 4 series in his career.

Harris is currently putting together International TV series, partnering with the World 2000, the Company that has produced The Tudors, Camelot, The Borgias and The Vikings. Also pursuing film projects in various stages of financing

Javier Lovato (producer)

Javier Lovato is a Producer for Brainfeeder Films based in Los Angeles. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Javier began by producing commercials and short films. In 2015 he produced the Sundance selected short film FUCKKKYOUUU directed by Eddie Alcazar with music from Flying Lotus. Then, in 2018 he produced Alcazar’s feature length Sci fi thriller PERFECT executive produced by Steven Soderbergh with original music from Flying Lotus. Other credits include feature film KUSO directed by Flying Lotus, HBO documentary TAPIA executive produced by 50 Cent, and the feature film THE WIND which made its world premiere at TIFF in 2018.

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