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Grandpa is Sleeping
A six-year-old girl’s journey to understand death and learn how to deal with loss.
Six-year-old Alma arrives at her Grandpa’s ready for their ice-skating Sunday ritual, but Grandpa is sleeping in his armchair. Although she fails to wake him up, she is determined to stick to the plan: Alma sneaks out of the house and takes the sleeping Grandpa with her. All her child-like ideas work like magic and they spend a fun day together as they cruise through the city, with a kite, all the way to the ice rink. When they are about to land, a strong wind crushes them to the ground. Alone in a dark, unknown place, Alma is scared for the first time, but overcomes her fears as she has her last ice-dance with Grandpa, and learns how to let go of the past and face reality.
The idea for this story was born soon after my father died. My siblings and I were crushed because it all happened so unexpectedly. My older brother didn’t want to share his pain with his six-year-old daughter, Alma, and kept telling her different reasons why she couldn’t meet her grandpa. “If you are protected from dark things, then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up” – Neil Gaiman said, in the context of his adaptation of Brothers Grimm tales. And I couldn’t agree more. I do drawings, I do humour, but there is always some drama in my work. A sensitive subject like death is very appealing to me and, based on my first-hand experience with Alma, I want to deliver her understanding of this process. This story is seen through her eyes: entertaining yet deep, sad yet funny. And hopefully, this film will offer some good laughs while it will encourage adults to overcome their incapacity to call death by its name.
Matei Branea is an illustrator, comics-artist and film director best known for his choice of controversial subjects and witty humour. He is regarded as one of the best Romanian illustrators, while his animated works (web series, music videos, short films) have enjoyed international recognition. He currently teaches animation at the National Film University in Bucharest. Grandpa is Sleeping is his latest project, an auteur film that depicts our incapacity to call death by its name.
Helga Fodorean (producer) has worked as an executive producer, cultural manager and script consultant for the past ten years. Her preferred field is animation, having successfully produced four animated shorts, and currently being the festival producer of Animest Festival, one of the leading industry-related events in Europe. Grandpa is Sleeping is her second collaboration with director Matei Branea.
Country of production
Production companySafe Frame