Welcome Friends and Fans to the official opening of our Real Prayers Song Competition! If you are a prospective contestant, please view ALL info provided including Terms & Conditions, and sample lyrics. Mentors Ira Antelis, Gary Manuel, and Betsy Walter will be monitoring entries as they are posted.
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Short Film Trailer
About the film
In a close knit German farming community in Central IL. during WWII, 3 siblings must cope with their beloved father's tuberculosis diagnosis, anti-German sentiment, and the poverty of war-time farming life. Instead of merely surviving the children find solace and joy in music, baseball, and especially the Cubs at a time when "We'll get'em next year" became a hopeful mantra for the future.
The Birth Of "REAL PRAYERS ARE SAID IN GERMAN"
A Note From Ann Hagemann
In the fall of 2015 when all Cubs fans thought "this would be the year," I wrote a Facebook post about my Father and how his love of baseball, the Cubs, music, and his strong German roots got him and his sisters through some very tough times during WWII after their father took ill...
Follow the story
Hear the stories that inspired the film. True stories from the lives of real people, told by cast of the film!
Click HERE to listen to this week's audio story or start from the beginning with Week 1!
Producer / Actress
Ann is an Actress/Producer and proud member of SAG-AFTRA/AEA. She makes her living in film, TV, commercials, VOS, and theatre. While raising her sons, she was the recipient of numerous grants and conducted theatre residencies through the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts in Education program and performed her original one-woman show “From Pyramids to Video Games” at over 100+ Midwestern elementary schools. In 2010, Ann returned to the industry full-time. Since then, she has shared the screen with Sharon Gless in the award-winning feature Hannah Free, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Best of the Midwest Film Awards; with Kathryn Heigl, Grace Gummer & Alexis Bledel in Jenny’s Wedding; with Eddie Steeples in Farewell, Charlie; with Dante Basco in I’m Coming Out; with Jim O'Heir and Larry Thomas in Mind Over Mindy; and with comedian Jim Breuer in the pilot A Rock & A Hard Place.
In 2015 Ann was honored to be cast as Belle in “Belle” - The Belle Gunness story, directed by Stephen Ruminski with Ryan Mieczyslaw Juszkiewicz as Director of Photography. That same year she acted in and produced the romantic comedy Less Than 30, written by and starring Angela Morris. While writing the short stories for “Real Prayers…", the basis of this project, Ann already knew she wanted Angela, Ryan and Stephen on her team.
In addition to film and television, Ann has numerous commercial, voice over, and theatre credits. Ann studied at Bradley University, AADA, and Actors Center of Chicago, and she coaches young actors for auditions and on-camera projects. Ann is also the author/composer of a children’s musical based on the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder that is under review for publication.
Stephen Ruminski is a Chicago-based filmmaker. Originally born in Indiana, Stephen has been interested in filmmaking and storytelling since the age of 12. He attended Tribeca Flashpoint Academy where he focused in film post-production. After graduation, Stephen worked as an editor/producer for a small production company in Mishawaka, IN, gaining invaluable experience. After starting his freelance career, Stephen has continued to grow and learn with every new opportunity that comes his way, working on feature films including The Looking Glass, directed by John Hancock; Thrill Ride, directed by Chris Parrish; and The Good Catholic, directed by Paul Shoulberg.
In 2011, Stephen's first documentary, "The Gunness Mystery", was released. It tells the true story of infamous, female serial killer Belle Gunness. Gunness committed her crimes in La Porte, IN, Stephen's home town. The documentary has sold close to 1000 DVDs to date and has screened in Gunness' native country of Norway. In 2015, Stephen set his sights on bringing the Gunness story to the screen as a narrative. His short film "Belle" (starring Ann Hagemann and shot by Ryan Mieczyslaw Juszkiewicz) was filmed in La Porte. The feature script is currently in development.
Ryan has been working in the film industry since 1995. He received his bachelor's degree in Film studies from Columbia College and his Masters in Digital Cinema from DePaul University. His career began with a role as 1st Assistant Director on the feature film, "A Piece of Eden." Subsequently, he moved to Dallas where he was 1st AD, line producer and 2nd unit director on independent films and also worked as a photographer/writer for the "Dallas Music Guide". He returned to Indiana and has been working as a Director, Producer and Director of Photography on many commercials, documentaries, music videos and industrials. He has also worked as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Film & Video Production, lighting, cinematography and Film History.
Angela Morris is a Chicago-based writer, actress, and voiceover artist. Her first feature length screenplay, Less Than 30 (in which she also plays the lead), is currently in post-production and will be released in December of 2016. Her second feature, North in the Last Days of August written with John TerEick, is currently in pre-production. Other film credits include Darius Dawson’s “Trash,” John TerEick’s “August by the Lake,” and Chris Oliva’s “Spaceman.” Angela is a founding member of The Collective Theatre Company and has performed in theatres ranging from The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Shakespeare in Washington) to small Chicago storefronts. In addition to commercial voiceover work, Angela can be heard in 2017 as Cassie, Faith, and Poppet in Perception, a video game by The Deep End Games.
Angela graduated summa cum laude from the University of Evansville with a degree in Theatre Performance and an Associated Study in Literature.
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