Getting Grace, a forthcoming independent feature film, which featured a funeral director as a lead character, is quickly gaining attention and was recently honored at a film festival in New Jersey.
The portrayal of funeral directors in the majority of movies and television shows seldom strays far from the clichés of yesteryear. Few productions focus on the human side of the funeral director, who is usually a minor character, sometimes sinister and often eccentric. The forthcoming independent feature film, Getting Grace, is an exception. Actor Daniel Roebuck, who also co-wrote and directed the film, portrays Bill Jankowski, a funeral director who has seemingly withdrawn from life and whose life is turned upside down by Grace, a 16-year-old girl dying of cancer. “The dying girl is more alive than he is,” Roebuck says of his character.
Roebuck filmed Getting Grace at NFDA-member funeral homes John F. Herron Funeral Home in Bethlehem, PA, and Sell-Herron Funeral Home in Allentown, PA, which are owned by Demetri Herron; Demetri’s sister Paula Herron is the firms’ supervising funeral director.
At the recent North East Film Festival in Teaneck, NJ, Getting Grace won four awards:
- Best Feature Film
- Best Director – Daniel Roebuck
- Best Actress in a Feature Film – Madelyn Dundon, who plays Grace
- Audience Choice Award.
Roebuck is working to enter Getting Grace entered into other film festivals around the country and hopes to secure a distributor soon. Stay tuned!
Getting Grace was recently profiled in The Director magazine; click here to read more about the film.
If you’re attending the NFDA Convention in Boston and want to learn more about Getting Grace and its production, consider attending the Conversation Café “Getting Grace: Inside the Funeral Director’s Studio” on Tuesday, October 31 at 12:30 p.m. Ed Defort, editor-in-chief of The Director will moderate a discussion between Daniel Roebuck and Demetri and Paula Herron. They will talk about the movie itself and the logistics of running an active funeral home while a movie was being filmed. Attendee will see clips from the movie, as well as behind-the-scenes footage.
To learn more, visit www.gettinggracethemovie.com.