CHILD OF GRACE
9-year-old Katie has spent her life traveling the country in an RV with her single father… until she sees her portrait on a missing child poster and realizes that the man she thinks is her loving father may in fact be her kidnapper. Meanwhile, a small-town sheriff, and the girl’s grandfather, tries to figure out the truth when new evidence surfaces.
By Willie J. Hagen and Ian McCrudden, based on the novel JUNE BUG By Chris Fabry
Directed by Ian McCrudden
Produced by Thomas Hildreth, Ian McCrudden, Athena Lobit
View Child Of Grace on IMDb.
Thomas Hildreth is an actor/producer and owner of Sternman Productions. He seeks out original material from screenwriters and playwrights for film/TV development. Currently, (2020) Hildreth has two films entering the market in which he acted and produced: Vandal, starring Bill Duke (Predator, X-Men: The Last Stand) by award-winning writer/director Eddie Alcazar (HBO’s Tapia, Perfect – Steven Soderbergh executive producer) in post-production and The Kinjiku, from critically acclaimed novelist/screenwriter Jeff Johnson (Amazon kindle #1 crime noir) with award-winning executive producer Mark R. Harris (Crash, Gods and Monsters). The film stars Thomas, alongside Tony Denison (The Closer, Major Crimes) and Ron Canada (Lone Star, Cinderella Man).
Thomas and Eddie Alcazar are the founders of Cure Films which produce films in the psycho-horror genre. As Vandal goes out to major festivals and market in 2020, they are now in pre-production for the feature film Companion, as well as developing two short stories in the horror genre for film.
At Sternman Productions, Hildreth has a feature documentary in post-production, MaineWorks, directed by Ian McCrudden (Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer). Additionally, Hildreth is developing other Jeff Johnson scripted projects including Short Bus (feature film with executive producer Mark R. Harris), as well as series for TV to include Millinocket, Lincoln Park, and Sternman all set in Thomas’ home state of Maine. Hildreth is also developing Johnson’s werewolf novel Everything Under The Moon for film.
Previously, Thomas produced and starred in the 2015 award-winning feature film Child Of Grace, a crime thriller 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 now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.
Thomas 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 had an extensive run on SHOWTIME after premiering in film festivals nationwide in 2006 and playing in theaters in major markets throughout the U.S. in 2007. Islander received rave reviews from leading publications including the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, Variety, and Hollywood Reporter.
On stage, 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, and more recently Spin Off by Tony award-winning playwright Bernard Pomerance (The Elephant Man). Thomas has performed in dozens of plays, classical and contemporary, in both NY and LA, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Berkshire Theatre Festival.
A Maine native, Thomas attended Connecticut College, New York University, and received an MFA from Rutgers University. He lives in New York and Los Angeles with his wife and five small children.
Starring Thomas Hildreth, Maggie Elizabeth Jones and Ted Levine.
Directed by Ian McCrudden
On a small fishing island off the coast of Maine, families have lived and worked off the sea for generations. Everyone knows each other. Birthright is akin to law and men inherit their fishing territories. Eben Cole, like the other fishermen, continues his family’s legacy of harvesting lobsters from the waters surrounding the island. Every year, the lobstermen’s catch gets smaller, thanks in no small part to the Mainlanders encroaching on the local claim. Tired of watching outsiders haul in his territory, Eben turns to enforcing territorial lines himself, angering some of the other fishermen including his own father.
One morning Eben sets out to confront the mainlander who has been fishing in his territory. When he finds the fisherman and his sternman hauling traps, Eben fires a warning shot. This shot, aimed squarely at the buoy the boy was hoisting out of the water, is proof enough that Eben is serious. In a panic the fisherman hits the throttle on the boat, not realizing the boy’s foot is ensnared in a rope trailing overboard. The teen is thrown into the icy waters of the Atlantic, vanishing immediately. Shock descends over Eben’s face as the full scope of his actions settles in. He sinks down in the stern of his boat, leaving himself adrift until the coast guard arrives to take him into custody.
After serving five years on a manslaughter plea, Eben returns to the island a felon and a pariah. His homecoming is bleak: his now ex-wife Cheryl has moved in with Eben’s rival and refuses to let him see his daughter Sara; his estranged father died while Eben was in prison; and, seeing him as a harbinger of bad luck, no fisherman wants Eben anywhere near his boat. From the whispers and turned backs, it is clear no one is ready to forget the past. Humbled, he is determined more than ever to rebuild his life on the island, mend his relationships and win back the respect of his daughter.
Eben takes a job at the local dump, the only place willing to hire an ex-con, but still dreams of getting back out on the water. He slowly regains his footing in his changed community. Emily, the local doctor he meets after landing in the clinic with a nasty injury, is the first person to look beyond his past and see him for the man he has become. Popper, an old fisherman from his father’s generation, hires Eben to work as the sternman on his lobster boat, an opportunity no other fisherman would consider. This old islander is weathered and gruff but kindhearted; he shows Eben the support and affection he never received from his own dad. Though Sara, Eben’s now school aged daughter, is hesitant to reconnect with her father, ultimately her instinct to learn more about her dad is too powerful to resist.
Islander is a classic American story, portraying the gravitas in the everyday as one man learns to accept the consequences of his choices with grace. Eben discovers that self-respect is the hardest thing to earn and that in community he must find it. Islander is a authentic portrait of human weakness and human courage.
Cast & Crew Credits
Sternman Productions in association with Elan Entertainment
Thomas Hildreth ———- Eben Cole
Amy Jo Johnson ———- Cheryl Cole
Philip Baker Hall ———- Popper
Ron Canada ———- T. Hardy
Larry Pine ———- Old Man Cole
Mark Kiely ———- Jimmy
James Parks ———- Pokey
Judy Prescott ———- Emily
Emma Ford ———- Sara Cole
Zach Batchelder ———- Wyatt
Ian McCrudden ———- Director
Ian McCrudden & Thomas Hildreth ———- Writers
Thomas Hildreth ———- Producer
Melissa Davis ———- Producer
Forrest Murray ———- Producer
Dan Coplan ———- Director of Photography
Marc Jozefowicz. ———- Editor
Daniel Boxer ———- Production Designer
Billy Mallery ———- Music
Buy the ISLANDER DVD
“Markedly superior to current Hollywood fare… Beautifully cast and well-scripted… photography is…so breathtaking”
– James Verniere, Boston Herald
“A noble entry into the real world of timeless and truly independent American cinema.”
– Ted Fry, Seattle Times
“…original story… breathtaking cinematography… infinite appeal… acting talent… there is plenty here to love”
– WGBH’s Greater Boston
“…’Islander’ is the very best I’ve seen.”
– Marty Meltz, Portland Press Herald
“intelligent and compelling drama”
– Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter