Private Project


A grandson travels from Chicago to his hometown of San Francisco to attend his grandmother's funeral and help his family square away the details of her burial.

  • Charles Borg
  • Charles Borg
    MAN (2017), Knockout (tv series - 2 seasons)
  • Charles Borg
    MAN (2017), Three Worlds, Knockout (tv series - 2 seasons)
  • Amir Motlagh
    Three Worlds, MAN (2017), Rainbow Seasons
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    600 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, NIKON DSLR
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Charles Borg

Charles Borg is an award-winning writer/producer with an MFA in Screenwriting from Chapman University. He runs Smash To: Script Consulting, working with filmmakers affiliated with the likes of CAA, Paradigm, Circle of Confusion, and Nasdaq Studios. His professional background in script coverage/analysis started as a reader for Bona Fide Productions, The Writers Store, and Stage 32. Charles writes and ghostwrites feature films and pilots, as well as develops treatments and reality show pitch-packages. His skill set extends to writing VO for commercials and TV series’ promos, such as the Emmy Award-nominated, Never Settle Show, and for the boxing docu-series, Knockout, which he co-produced and wrote three seasons on NUVOtv and Fuse. In the feature film realm, Charles has co-produced, Three Worlds - “Best Feature” at Queen Palm Int’l, and MAN, which he co-wrote and co-edited, winner of CICFF’s “Golden Fox Award” for “Outstanding Achievement”. Charles is the head of Cypher Writer’s Lab, a local Chicago-based organization that helps filmmakers, develop and hone their writing/pitching skills. Charles presently teaches at Chicago Filmmakers and at Chicago Flashpoint College - a campus of Columbia College Hollywood.

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Director Statement

This is a very personal piece about my grandmother that came to fruition by pure instinct. There was little to no preparation, as it was shot in linear fashion (as you see it unfold on screen). There were no pick up shots or re-shoots. Even the shots of the pictures, although set up to be captured, were all used practically and framed, not for the project, but to be on display at the funeral.

What makes this piece avant-garde in nature is that there is no central character. Although I am the one traveling, it’s my late grandmother who remains the central figure, even though she’s dead. I manage to do this by using saved voicemails, spanning almost a decade, to create a narrative. This is how you get to know her; through her voice. I never anticipated using the voicemails for anything intentional, let alone a film. I collected them and kept them as keepsakes.

The night I received the news that she had passed I purchased a ticket to S.F. the next day. I shot everything in a naturalistic way. Nothing was overly manipulated. Not the lights. Not the mis-en-scene. Not the objects in frame. This is a genuinely organic piece with no bias and I believe it stands alone.

I’m submitting my film because I want to speak to the real aspects of dealing with death. It’s not just finding the body, then going to a funeral. There’s a real mess left over, emotionally as well as physical things: clothes, the house, bills, etc. I wanted to expose the rarely revealed, if ever, logistics of planning a funeral, the burial and everything else the demise of a loved one demands of your time and energy. Planning a funeral is confusing and mentally exhausting. This is a slice of life into my family and our real conversations about something out of our control. It’s unscripted and captured with a hand held rawness that preserve the feeling that you’re along for the ride. In the end, it’s about honoring a memory that I hope I can share that with an audience.