Lucky Grandma - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

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Lucky Grandma
US | 2019 | 87’ | DCP | Colour | Mandarin, English, Cantonese | Group: C
Director: Sasie Sealy

2019/12/06 18:45 Macao Old Court Building

Programmer’s Note

This wry comedy is almost entirely in Mandarin but takes place in New York City with a detour to the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. US director Sasie Sealy spins a spirited yarn about rival gangs, mysterious bags of money and kidnappings, but her film’s raison d’etre is to pay a loving tribute to Grandma, the one so beautifully played by Tsai Chin here, and in fact self-sufficient, Mahjong-addicted grandmas everywhere. Tsai is a legendary Chinese actress who has spent most of her career working in the US – as Sui-Lan in The Inn Of Sixth Happiness (1958), as a Bond girl in You Only Live Twice (1967) and again in Casino Royale (2006), and most famously as Auntie Lindo in Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club (1993). It’s a joy to see her front and centre in Lucky Grandma: she is pricelessly deadpan and entirely winning, reminding us all that the elderly have no less a lust for life than the young.

– Mike Goodridge


In the heart of Chinatown, New York, a cantankerous, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her son who want her to move in with him and his family in bourgeois Brooklyn. When a local fortune teller predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to get on the bus and head to the casino. Although she loses at the tables, a bag of money literally lands in her lap on the bus ride home and she takes it home with her. Which attracts the attention of the local mafia, leads her to employ a bodyguard and plunges her into a gang war in the heart of her neighbourhood.


Sasie Sealy

Sasie Sealy is a writer/director from North Carolina and now based in New York City. Her short films The Elephant Garden and Dance Mania Fantastic both won the short film-making prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. A fellowship and new short with HBO in 2014 led to a chance to direct episodic television and her first DGA nomination for her work on Gortimer Gibbons’ Life on Normal Street. Since then, she has directed multiple projects for Amazon and most recently an episode of Fresh Off the Boat. She currently directs commercials as part of Bullitt Branded, the filmmaker collective and creative studio founded by Justin Lin and the Russo Brothers. Lucky Grandma is her feature debut and had its world premiere at Tribeca in April.

Cast & Crew

Director Sasie Sealy

Scriptwriter(s) Angela Cheng

Producer(s) Cara Marcous, Krista Parris

Cinematographer Eduardo Enrique Mayén

Production Designer Cassia Maher

Editor Hye Mee Na

Music Andrew Orkin

Costumes Designer Aubrey Laufer

Cast Tsai Chin, Corey (Hsiao-Yuan) Ha, Michael Tow, Woody Fu, Eddie Yu

Production Companies Parris Pictures, Treehead Films


World Sales XYZ Films

New Chinese Cinema