“Lucky Grandma” wins over fans at Tribeca film festival

China 24

It’s not what you’d expect to win over this year’s Tribeca film festival in New York.

An independent movie featuring a grumpy Chinese grandma who finds herself in the middle of a feud between rival Chinese American gangs.

CGTN’s John Terrett reports fans are raving about it.

Chinese-born British actress Tsai Chin star of “Lucky Grandma,” smiling for the cameras on the red carpet.

Tsai, who said she’s four years off 90, said after a lifetime in the theater she prefers stage acting to movie making though she loves both.

“The power is yours, I’m going to make you laugh – you laugh – but in a film it’s up to the director and even more up to the editor,” Tsai said.

Lucky Grandma is a dark comedy about a chain-smoking, newly widowed, irascible old women caught between rival Chinese American gangs feuding over gambling money. It’s a love letter to Manhattan’s Chinatown and those who live there.

One of the film’s writers, Angela Cheng helped pitch the movie to a competition for independent producers sponsored by U.S. telecom giant AT&T and won!

“It was like a dream come true and it also gave us the shot of adrenaline that we needed to get the film going,” said Angela Cheng a screenwriter for Lucky Grandma.

The prize was a million dollars, not a huge amount by Hollywood standards, but director Sasie Sealy said enough to assemble a multi-national, diverse and mainly female crew with a passion for grandma’s story.

“One of the things that I’ve loved most since our premier is just random people coming up to me who are not Chinese who are not Asian American saying oh this is just like my grandmother. I guess it’s universal that when you get to do what you want so maybe all grandmas are like Grandma,” Sealy said.

“Lucky Grandma” is seeking just one more piece of good fortune. The movie needs a distributor to get it out to audiences around the world.