The Muralist

A muralist who creates magical scenes that take him away from the mundane meets a young woman artist, and while they find themselves drawn to each other, will her inability to experience art on the same level as him threaten their future together?

  • Ella Grace Helton
    Wild Thing
  • Ella Grace Helton
    Wild Thing
  • Lee Nessel
    Wild Thing
  • Jennifer Jacono
  • Michael Colby
    Key Cast
  • Jade Robinson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Home School, film made during Jacono Studios Filmmaker Workshop
Director Biography - Ella Grace Helton

10-year-old Ella Grace Helton is a tiny powerhouse of personality who engulfs those around her with infectious positive energy. She has enjoyed acting roles in TV, film, commercials and Broadway, and made her filmmaking debut at age 9, having written, directed and edited her first film, “Wild Thing,” in June 2022. She followed that up with this second short, keeping her passion for visual storytelling rolling.

Ella plays Katie in season 3 of the hit family Netflix drama "Sweet Magnolias" and has her first lead in a feature, playing Lily in "Chosen Family," written and directed by and starring Heather Graham. Also starring are Julia Stiles and John Brotherton.

At age 6, Ella charmed audiences as the lovable and quirky Emily Ryan, a series regular on the ABC sitcom "United We Fall." This is where her interest in directing was sparked — when Emmy-nominated director Mark Cendrowski took Ella under his wing, allowing her to yell, "Action," and "Cut" and shadow him in video village.

Continuing to share her "DNA funny" roots, Ella made her major motion picture debut the same year as her sitcom, as Jessa Phillips (mini Harley Quinn) opposite Adam Sandler in Netflix's "Hubie Halloween." She then showed her range with the dramatic lead role of Maisie in the 2022 short film "Hummingbird."

Learn more and view Ella's work at and on Instagram at @adventuresofellagrace

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Director Statement

Ella made this film at the age of 10 — just a kid, a camera, and her mom as crew. She attended a youth filmmaker workshop in the historic Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne, Florida, and had a 2-block radius (rich with murals) within which to shoot her film. Once she spotted the astronaut mural, she created her story "The Muralist," which had about 6 hours of shoot time and was made from concept to final credits in one week.