Synopsis: AVAILABLE AUGUST 17th AND 26th | 10:00 AM – MIDNIGHT
When the life of Grace Wyatt, an esteemed music professor, is disrupted by the tragic loss of her husband Eric, Grace retreats to substance abuse as a way to cope with her grief. Tossed out of her lavish academic world and finally at rock-bottom, Grace seeks help from a Christian recovery center.
Now sober, she must try and rebuild her life, though memories of her past continue to haunt her. When she is hired as a music teacher at Devlin House, a group home for at-risk youth, she expects the same level of appreciation she had received during her tenure as professor. These teens are hard enough, but Grace soon sees that Michael Devlin, the head of the group home, is tougher, and from day one, they go head-to-head over her purpose in being there.
Grace preservers and finds a way to use her talents to reach them. Teens like Daniella, angry at the world and about to become a mother, Jalen, the writer, who craves acceptance from his drug addicted mom, and Sam, who is socially awkward but full of promise.
Her old way of doing things will not work in this environment, so Grace is forced to find unique ways to connect, while striving to convince Michael that she knows what she’s doing. Grace is busy. Almost too busy to remember her own troubled past when she was a teen mother and victim of family violence at the hand of her Pastor father. When she was raped as a teenager in her father’s church, her father gave up Grace’s baby without her permission. The one thing she does not think she can forgive him for, despite growing closer in her own relationship with God.
Soon, Grace learns that Daniella is about to be kicked out of the group home and sent to another facility where she will not receive the care she desperately needs. Grace comes up with a music event to raise money to help her and to help the Devlin’s branch out to a home of their home, on their terms, without the limitations of a controlling organization. However, plans are interrupted when Grace receives a call from her mother that her father is dying and she needs to return home to see him.
At home, her father, sick in bed, reveals that he does not know what happened to Grace’s baby. Now Grace is confronted with the choice of forgiveness and the power that offering mercy can bring.
Upon returning to Devlin House, Grace assists Michael in calming down a hysterical Jalen, who’s just learned that his mother has overdosed. They hold the fundraiser and are granted a donation large enough to keep Daniella. Grace realizes that she’s not the same woman she was when she first came to work with the Devlin’s. As happy as she is, there is still a hole in her heart of a mother missing the baby she was never allowed to know.
Finally, a chance encounter with Michael Devlin reveals that her child was with her all along. She just needed to open up her eyes and see him in the midst of so many discarded things.
Always love a creative challenge. Discarded Things presented me with the opportunity to create a compelling feature film with a meaningful story, a youthful cast and a powerful message. Serving as both Director of Photography and Co-Director was a chance to flex my skills and work between the visual and aural world of storytelling. It was a great pleasure working with Karen Abercrombie and share the collaborative process of filmmaking.
Joanne Hock is a passionate and prolific storyteller. She has written and directed feature films and documentaries, lensed and directed countless television commercials and directed national and international television shows. With more than 30 years in this ever-changing industry – and among a small population of women to break the glass ceiling in writing, directing and cinematography, Joanne’s career continues to expand and grow.
She started in the advertising world and quickly moved up the ranks to Creative Director. Falling in love with being on location and on set, Joanne then ventured into the world of commercial film production. She has worked with ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies both nationally and internationally as a Director and a Cinematographer.
Joanne has directed 5 feature films including:
The Ultimate Legacy, Discarded Things, Trinity Goodheart and Redneck Roots.
Her latest feature film is a drama set in 1966 entitled, When We Last Spoke
and stars Academy Award winner Cloris Leachman, Melissa Gilbert, Darby Camp and Corbin Bernsen.
Joanne has directed over 30 episodes of True Crime television such as Southern Gothic, FBI Criminal Pursuit, Ice Cold Killers and Happily Never After for cable networks such as Discovery ID, A&E Biography and Lifetime. She most recently finished directing a TV pilot entitled, Angels Unaware.
Her documentary projects for PBS include: The James B. Duke Story, Laugh at Us, and In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel. Most recently she completed two notable pop-culture documentaries, which are on the film festival circuit; award-winning audience favorite, Purple Dreams, which premiered to a sold-out crowd of 1500 people at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Martin Hill: Camera Man, a film introduced by Leonard Maltin at the film’s world premiere in November.