By The Grape Of God

It's 5 O'Clock Mass Somewhere

Project type: Fiction Feature
Project status: Production
Writer/Executive Producer: Kevin Hickey
Director: Comcille Donston
Producer/1st Assistant Director: Connor Jones
Executive Producer: Marisa Laurance
Executive Producer: Sean Szatkowski
Twitter: @ByTheGrapeOfGod
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A disenchanted, older priest and his bright-eyed mentee embark on a quest for the perfect communion wine in a Napa Valley escapade turned full-on identity crisis


Unfulfilled with priestly duties, Pastor Thomas (60’s) embarks with newly-minted priest Christopher (30) to Napa Valley in search of the perfect new Communion wine and to restore vigor.

As the wine tasting gets under way, Christopher’s cheery perfectionism highlights Thomas’ insecurities that he may be useless as a priest.

Thomas soon learns that Christopher’s a virgin. Christopher claims he’s uninterested, as he was destined for the priesthood. Thomas then insinuates that Christopher doesn’t have enough life experience to have committed himself to the priesthood.

Their tensions play out amidst the weekends drunken misadventures. These tensions are stretched when Christopher reveals that he received a sign from God validating his pursuit of the priesthood. Never having had a sign himself, Thomas gives God an ultimatum – deliver a sign this weekend or he’s done being a priest.

The next day at a wine yoga they meet the exuberant influencer, OLIVIA, and her down-on-her-luck friend, AVERY. Christopher’s curiosity is piqued by the ladies.

Thomas learns and later reveals to Christopher that his miracle never actually happened, driving a wedge in their blossoming friendship. Tempers flare and the priests go their separate ways for the night.

Thomas hits the streets looking for people to “save” to prove he’s a good priest after all. These attempts include a wise homeless man, and the rebellious altar boy. These efforts are complicated by a series of madcap misunderstandings and a brush with the law.

Meanwhile, Christopher hits the streets with Avery and Olivia. His night spirals further out of control as he naively agrees to drop acid for the first time.

Can the priests stumble their way back to each other and restore their sense of fulfillment along the way?

Meet the Filmmakers

Kevin Hickey – Writer/Executive Producer
Growing up in Southern California, Kevin developed an early love of film. In particular, it was comedy that piqued his interest, and its ability to bond people with laughs. He graduated with a Screenwriting MA from the Met Film School in London in October, 2020. During his time there, Kevin wrote a romantic comedy short film, Housewarming, which went on to win several awards, including Best Screenplay at the Paris Short Film Awards. This achievement was followed by a comedy feature script, Red Rover, that earned distinctions from the Beverly Hills International Film Festival, Final Draft Big Break, and Austin Film Festival, among others. This success landed Kevin a script consultant position with Industrial Scripts, where worked helping other writers develop their screenplays.

Now living in Los Angeles, Kevin works as a sportswriter while continuing to pursue his passion as a screenwriter.
Colmcille Donston- Director
Colmcille Donston was born, raised, and began his artistic venture in Hoboken, NJ. Colm started as an actor working with various theater companies such as The Mile Square Theater, NSLC Theater Program, and The Public Theater of New York. He eventually realized that while all his friends were attending Broadway shows, he was often at his local movie theater.

A while later Colm shifted his focus to the visual media arts and decided to continue his studies at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Colm graduated with a BFA in Visual Media Arts Production and with a concentration in writing/directing. His BFA Thesis, Peace Be With You, has received multiple accolades from The Scout Film Festival, The Boston Film Festival, The 41st EVVY Awards, Monadnock International Film Festival, and The Garden State Film Festival.

Colmcille now resides in Los Angeles, CA where he continues his pursuit of filmmaking.

Connor Jones – Producer/1st Assistant Director
Connor, our assistant director, is a writer-director and producer born in Oakland and raised in the DMV.

Following selections for the Gotham Institute’s Narrative Series Fellowship and Geffen School of Drama at Yale’s Directing Lab, Connor produced his debut short, ‘On The Line.’ This coming-of-age track drama premiered this March at Mammoth Film Festival and garnered a nomination for Best Cinematography at Cannes Shorts Fest. Since then his screenwriting work has received accolades at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Outstanding Screenplay’s Shorts Competition, and the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards.

His long-term vision is to direct — across film, TV, and stage — the stories that need to be told with the time we have left; in between the technology and the math and the logistics is the recreation of life. Connor focuses his work around this aspect to create projects that entertain, educate, and allow us to empathize with one another.

Marisa Laurance – Executive Producer
As a Los Angeles native (both by birthplace and by indigenous ethnicity), Marisa was constantly enamored by movies, but had no clue how to break into the industry – just a strong-willed determination. She turned her youthful fanaticism for all things cinema into a full-blown academic pursuit in Film and Media Studies at the University of California Irvine. Over the course of the next ten years she worked her way up the production ladder, starting as an intern and Production Assistant. Her last two films as a freelance coordinator (Tenet and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) were master classes in multi-location production logistics and cost management.
Marisa also has studio experience providing productions, from low to high budget, with logistical guidance. After reading By the Grape of God, she felt compelled to use her rich experiences and skills to bring this story to life.

Sean Szatkowski – Executive Producer
Born and raised in both the western suburbs and city of Chicago, Sean was called to the arts at a young age. After his service as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps and Operation Enduring Freedom, Sean pursued a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago. His internal creative passions then pulled him into an innovative career in marketing.

Following a year and half long stint in New York he relocated to Los Angeles where, while maintaining his corporate career, Sean has studied with the Markland Studio, Prague Film School, Second City and Berg Studios. He was also selected to attend the Identity School of Acting, a British conservatory, where he was twice nominated for the Clive Daley showcase award. Now as producer for By The Grape Of God, he is taking his art into his own hands to tell truthful, original, special stories.

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