“State of Grace” – a deeply emotional, but ultimately redemptive film about fentanyl, foster care and a family of strangers – makes its Kansas City premiere Oct. 13-15.
The film, by Overland Park-based production company NEVER2LATE, will show at the Glenwood Arts Theaters at 95th and Mission Road in Overland Park. The local premiere follows premieres at the iconic Chinese Theater in Hollywood and at the SOHO International Film Festival in New York City.
Inspired by true events, “State of Grace” is a drama about the power of community and the price of love.
Following a surprise arrest for possession of eleven grams of the powerful opioid fentanyl, 31-year-old single mother Erin Sanders (Sarah Drescher) loses control of her life and the custody of her one-year-old daughter, Grace, to the Missouri foster care system.
Determined to accurately portray the consequences and the tragedy of drug addiction on film, director Stephen Wallace Pruitt spent days listening to the parents, siblings and spouses of opioid addicts who died from their disease. In the end, all of them freely offered Pruitt the use of their loved ones’ pictures for a crucial scene in the film.
The aspects of the film involving the foster care system and the titular one-year-old character Grace were based on the director’s own experiences as a baby born to a single mother who struggled with substance abuse.
Starring Hollywood-based actress Sarah Drescher in her first leading role in a feature film, two members of the almost exclusively female cast have themselves been deeply touched by the opioid crisis. Both second lead actress Charla Bocchicchio of Salt Lake City and supporting actress Marilyn Lynch of Kansas City lost their own daughters to fentanyl overdoses (with Ms. Lynch, 72, later losing her son-in-law, as well, leaving three orphan children in her care).
Shot entirely in the greater Kansas City area, “State of Grace” features striking locations and photography and a powerful musical score created by Overland Park-based composer and musician Randy Bonifield, as well as a featured song by well-known KC-based country music artist Sara Morgan.