A close-knit Grandfather and his trans Granddaughter struggle when his dementia sparks an imaginary giant and gender confusion, causing pain for them both.
JUNIOR’S GIANT is based on writer Deb McGrath’s real-life father’s experience with Lewy Body dementia and the imaginary giant who became a real comfort to him as his condition worsened.
Director Biography – Paula Brancati
Paula is a multi-hyphenate, Canadian Screen Award nominated, two-time Gemini nominated and two-time Dora nominated veteran actor of the film, television, and theatre industry. She has countless television, film, and theatre credits to her name; select acting credits include her Gemini- nominated roles on the internationally acclaimed Degrassi and Emmy-winning series Dark Oracle and most recently, starring in her fourth season of Netflix/AMC Shudder’s horror anthology series Slasher opposite iconic filmmaker David Cronenberg and currently filming the fifth season opposite Eric McCormack. She also lead the Broadway National touring company of Matilda: The Musical playing the beloved Miss Honey to audiences across North America.
Paula continues creating projects as producer, writer, director, and actor, often wearing several hats at once to great success. The first short film she produced called SLY CAD was screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2014 as a part of Telefilm’s prestigious Not Short On Talent Program and in the same year, went on to write, produce, and star in her first feature film, the CSA nominated People Hold On. She then went on to star in the Leo Award winning Sadie’s Last Days On Earth which can be viewed on AppleTV and NetflixUS. Both films were executive produced by Shaftesbury Films/Christina Jennings.
The Italian-Canadian co-production From The Vine which Paula produced and starred in opposite Emmy Winner Joe Pantoliano and Wendy Crewson has celebrated a worldwide festival run in over 25 festivals, was the #1 Canadian film on Apple TV/Itunes in the summer of 2021’s pandemic, was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films and has been celebrating a successful theatrical run in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and South Korea.
She has produced shorts with BravoFact (Flush), produced the DHX web series We Are Disorderly, and recently produced the Katie Boland directed feature We’re All In This Together with Gail Harvey and Jay Firestone, based on the critically acclaimed novel by Amy Jones and will be released theatrically this fall.
Next up, Paula is set to produce iconic Canadian Filmmaker Bruce McDonald’s third feature film collaboration with Daniel MacIvor, Vic & Doc & Duke Go To The Store and has officially added Director to her list of credits; she just completed post production on her directorial debut, the short film Junior’s Giant, written by and starring beloved Canadian comedian Deb McGrath and starring Corner Gas’s Eric Peterson in the titular role. She is next set to star in and direct the feature film Headliners, written by Deb McGrath.
I was raised by my grandparents in the suburbs of Toronto and know wholeheartedly that one of the greatest gifts of my life is being able to have gotten to know them so intimately the last 32 years. My Nonno who raised me and drove me to every single audition growing up, passed away 2 years ago. I shared my grief around this loss with my friend Deb McGrath.
When Deb shared the script for Junior’s Giant, a story that explored three generations of a family in a significant transition in their lives so earnestly, I was so very moved. As a filmmaker, I strive to tell specific stories about families that in their specificity, feel universal. To get to share Deb’s father’s story my first time out of the gate as director was a true honour. This is a story that at its core, is about the deep unconditional love between Granddaughter and Grandfather in the late stages of their relationship.
The film is anchored by the great Eric Peterson’s stunning, heartfelt performance as our Junior and the film is made all the more personal as it stars Deb opposite her real-life daughter Kinley; they bring a special depth and rawness to their performances that crackle because of how true to life some of these moments were for them.
We hope our little film strikes a chord with audiences who get to see it and that it brings folks who may be faced with loved ones struggling with dementia some comfort too.