Poster 2018 pic c.jpg

Real Prayers - Short Film


Real prayers are said in german:
ruth’s musical debut & backlot baseball highlights


About the film

In a close knit German farming community in central Illinois 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.



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...

Audio Stories

billly radio 2.jpg

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!

Creative Team

Producer / Actress


Producer / Actress

Ann is an Actress/Producer and proud member of SAG-AFTRA/AEA, Women in Film Chicago and IFP Chicago, (Fiscal Sponsor of Real Prayers).  She makes her living in film, TV, commercials, VOS, and theatre.  Ann has been the recipient of  numerous grants through the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts in Education program and the National Endowment of the Arts and performed her original one-woman show From Pyramids to Video Games at elementary schools throughout the Midwest. She has shared the screen with Sharon Gless in the award-winning feature Hannah Free, with Kathryn Heigl, Grace Gummer & Alexis Bledel in Jenny’s Wedding available on Netflix and Amazon Prime; with Eddie Steeples in Farewell, Charlie; and Asylum of Fear, Fall Away, & I’m Coming Out with Dante’ Basco, all available on Amazon Prime. Additional indie credits include: Manic, Fingerprints and Bob and Edgar, the latter currently on the festival circuit.    

 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,  (available on Amazon Prime), written by and starring Angela Morris. Ann first worked with Sarah Sharp on the indie Asylum of Fear, (originally titled When the Lights Go Out), and again on the Jim Breuer Pilot  A Rock and a Hard Place.  She is thrilled to be partnered with this incredible 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. 

She is the author/composer of The Little House Story a youth musical based on the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder which is being published and will be available in 2020.  She is also in development for a new series, Riding the Orphan Train, based on true events from the Orphan Train Movement, a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded Eastern cities of the US to foster homes located largely in rural areas of the Midwest. It operated between 1854 and 1929, relocating approx.. 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, abused or homeless children. 

Ann and her husband Bob have 2 grown sons, 1 grandson and a Border Collie, Miss Eliza Rose, who is featured in the 2016 proof of concept short film. 




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. Stephen’s diverse skillset has led to a numerous opportunities ranging from the edit suite to on set.

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. 2019 sees a rerelease of The Gunness Mystery, with new and retouched photographs. 

As an Editor and Producer, Stephen has had the chance to work on the nationally broadcast Onward series for the University of Notre Dame, and has attended the last two Olympic Games as part of the team that provides content for the venue video boards. 

Most recently, Stephen has shifted to working as UPM/Line Producer for feature films, including the award winning The Good Catholic (available on Netflix) & 2019 SXSW selection Ms. White Light, both directed by Paul Shoulberg, as well as Monuments (currently in post-production) directed by Jack C. Newell. 

Joan Tankersley.jpeg



Joan Tankersley, a Nashville based Creative Producer, has been an innovative leader in entertainment for 3 decades. Her career began in the music industry as a Dove Award winning Art Director and Creative Director. It’s included multi-camera live event direction,  Wardrobe Supervision for CBN International Productions, Production Design for Lifetime Network, along with roles as a broadcast concert Media Specialist for the annual NFL-BET Super Bowl Gospel Concert, and a Social Media Strategist for Joel Osteen Ministries special events. Her writing, directing and producing skills were crafted through her partnership in Vividmix, a production company specializing in luxury markets and Fortune 500 companies, i.e., Halliburton, Apache, and Theater Under the Stars. Currently developing and producing film and episodic television as founder of Five Key Collective, her properties focus on multiple genres. 5KC serves as a content incubator for the global content marketplace. 


Ryan Juszkiewicz


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


Angela Morris is a writer, actress, and voiceover talent. Her first feature length screenplay, Less Than 30 (in which she also plays the lead), introduced her to Ann and led to this collaboration. My Best Girl, an award winning short film that Angela co-wrote and also acts in, can be viewed on Amazon and Indieflix. Her third feature film, Sin Sick is in development. Other film/TV credits include the feature Two in the Bush: A Love Story, NBC's Chicago Fire, Darius Dawson’s “Trash," and Chris Oliva’s “Spaceman.” Angela has performed in such theatres as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., The Goodman Theatre, and The Gift Theatre. Angela can be heard in 2017 as Cassie, Faith, and Poppet in Perception, a video game by The Deep End Games. She also works as an Adjunct at Columbia College Chicago.


Producers Ann & Joan will be representing our film at AFM 2019!


Guten Tag!

We'd love to hear from you! Please send us your comments and questions and we'll send you periodic updates. 

Name *