UnLonely Film Festival 5

Grandpa’s Hands

A young professional, Jackson, makes a rare visit with his grandfather and struggles to reconnect due to his grandfather’s dementia.

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Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

“This film was loosely based on my last interaction with my grandfather, Howard Colston Sr. Growing up I was very close to him. I spent my summers fishing with him in Canada from grade school through highs chool. However, through college and through the beginnings of my career I spent less time visiting with my grandfather. Over time visits with my grandfather were relegated to calls on holidays and birthdays. I did make a trip to see him personally after he nearly drowned and was revived during a fishing accident. As a result of the accident he developed dementia due to hypoxia. For some reason I didn’t realize or want to believe how serious his accident was. I convinced myself that he would bounce back and I’d make the time to visit soon. Soon never came and his health faded. My sister, father and I visited one last time. That visit looked alot like this short film but in the end he didn’t recognize me. He did however stand up for me and my family, which spoke to the kind of my he was. I wish I had made more time to spend time with him regardless of his memory of me. I hope this film critiques our ease to find excuses and distractions and encourages us to lay them aside and be present with ourselves and our loved ones.”

Darren Colston is an Oakland based filmmaker who has accumulated extensive production experience over the last decade working on music videos, commercials, documentaries, network television, independent and studio narrative feature films. Darren is a co-founder of BlackSQR Productions, and has produced a range of creative works, including the web-series The North Pole, executive produced by Movement Generation and Rosario Dawson. In 2018 Darren shifted his focus away from producing to follow his passion for writing and directing. 

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Join the Conversation

Was there any part of this film that resonated with you and your experiences with aging family members? How do you stay present and focused when catching up with family?

Share your responses in the comment box below:


  1. Judy

    Yes, the film resonated with me and my life being a partial caregiver to my Grandma and then for eight years my Mom. We lived with her and saw the last of her eight years on planet earth. In my heart forever..and I found like the young man in the movie I was so busy working, keeping my job, that I sometimes did not take the time to be present even though my body was.

  2. Anonymous

    This ending wiped me out. We so casually take the love, blood, sweat, tears, and life lessons of those who raised us. All the while never fully understanding their lives, struggles, pain or hopes for us. Each generation more flippant than the next. It is just how we are. Maybe we can only fully understand when it is time to understand.


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