Grandpa is Sleeping

Bunicul doarme

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.

Director’s statement
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

Helga Fodorean

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Safe Frame

CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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