Lucky Grandma

A crafty Coen-esque black comedy about an elderly widow who inadvertently steals from the Chinese mob and subsequently takes on the gangs to secure her fortune.

Dir Sasie Sealy
Prod Cara Marcous, Krista Parris
Scr Angela Cheng, Sasie Sealy
With Tsai Chin, Corey Ha, Michael Tow
Sales XYZ Films
With partial English subtitles (some scenes are not in the English language)

Widowed Grandma Wong doesn’t seem so lucky when she gambles away her entire savings. But her fortunes appear to change when, on the bus home, the man sat beside her suddenly expires and she absconds with his bag stuffed with US dollar bills. However, the money belongs to New York’s Chinese mob and she now finds herself at the centre of a gang war. Still, never underestimate an unflappable pensioner. First-time writer-director Sasie Sealy’s spiky US indie explores Chinatown’s Mahjong parlours and steam rooms with an authenticity American movies often lack. Veteran actress Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club) has a blast as our wily, chain-smoking, Mandarin-speaking heroine, who forms a terrific odd-couple partnership with affable giant bodyguard Big Pong (Hsiao-yuan Ha).

Leigh Singer

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Sasie Sealy, director; Cara Marcous, producer; Tsai Chin, cast.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

Tickets for the additional screening are on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00.