GO FOR 
GRANDMA

Short

2023

Sabrina Doyle

Director

Lucian Nakazato-Patterson

Writer

Ron Eli Cohen

Producer

DIRECTED BY
Sabrina Doyle
WRITTEN BY
Lucian Nakazato-Patterson
STARRING
Justine Lupe, Austin Schoenfeld
and Amy Madigan
SUPPORTING CAST
Justin Ariola, Porter Kelly, Jianna Platon,
and Stephanie Rocio
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
Larkin Lane Films, Grade A Pictures
SYNOPSIS

Inspired by the iconic ‘80s fantasy films we all grew up on, Go for Grandma is a magical journey into the mind of a young boy who escapes a traumatic home life through the power of his imagination.

FESTIVALS
AFI FEST, Montreal Independent Film Festival, Malibu Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival
AWARDS
2023 AFI FEST
Nominated, Grand Jury Prize
2024 Montreal Independent Film Festival
Winner, Best Narrative Short Film
2024 Malibu Film Festival
Finalist, TBA

JUSTINE LUPE

AUSTIN SCHOENFELD

and AMY MADIGAN

Go for Grandma stars Succession fan favorite Justine Lupe and Academy Award nominee Amy Madigan playing a mother-daughter duo at odds with each other. It also introduces up-and-comer Austin Schoenfeld, whose heart and vulnerability recall Henry Thomas’s star-making turn in E.T.

To film the scenes at Lucian’s window in which he talks to his grandmother across a New York alley, the filmmakers shot Lucian’s coverage on Production Designer Clarisa Garcia-Fresco’s apartment set, matching the window frame to one in an existing New York alleyway.

They then filmed Grandma’s coverage in the real alley, and editor Banner Gwin cut shots from both locations together to make them look like the same location.

Amy even came in on her days off so child actor Austin would have a scene partner for the walkie-talkie scenes.

The talent and commitment of Justine Lupe and Amy Madigan were essential to giving the film its raw emotional power.

A blond woman and a young boy stand facing one another in a kitchen at night. The kitchen floor is covered in water. The boy hangs his head.

Flooding Blake’s apartment meant Production Designer Clarisa Garcia-Fresco and a team of skilled craftspeople building the entire apartment set inside a water retention pond, which the SFX department then filled once all the dry scenes were in the can.

There are almost 200 VFX shots in the movie, ranging from a dragon flying down Wall Street to a little mariner boy caught in a Perfect Storm-type ocean.

The film’s VFX team – led by co-producer, Oscar winner Scott E. Anderson, and by VFX supervisor Robert Moggach – came from all over the world, with artists working out of the US, UK, Serbia, Egypt and China.

To capture the power and speed of the dragon flying through San Francisco, acclaimed aerial stunt and camera team Fred North, Ben Skorstad, and aerial DP Dylan Goss – along with the mastery of Team5 Aerial Systems – joined the shoot for a thrilling day of action over, under and around the Golden Gate Bridge.

The post-production process saw composer Fabrizio Mancinelli record his romantic symphonic score with a full orchestra at the Synchron Stage Vienna.

The team at Skywalker Sound invented the creature sounds and assembled a sonic landscape rich enough to convey a child’s inner life.

Story

7-year-old Lucian (Austin Schoenfeld) is mistreated by his emotionally unstable mom, Blake (Justine Lupe), who resents him because of his close relationship with both her ex-husband and her estranged mother (Amy Madigan). He finds solace in his Grandma’s stories, which she delivers over walkie-talkie since Blake won’t allow her to visit.

From a playful Falkor-type dragon to a raging sea storm, Lucian uses the fables passed down by his grandmother to confront his mother’s demons. When events take a particularly dark turn, Lucian discovers that his oceanic imagination is his greatest source of strength and healing.