Disney+ Oscar nominated documentary short “Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó” about two Asian grandmothers, is set to debut on the streamer and Hulu on Feb. 9.
The 17-minute film directed by Taiwanese American filmmaker Sean Wang follows the daily, often humorous, lives of his elderly maternal and paternal grandmothers who are best friends and live together. The short doc premiered at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it took home the grand jury prize and audience award.
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Wang began filming his grandmothers in 2021 when he lived with them for a brief stint between a move from New York City to Los Angeles.
“It was very much a transitory period of my life,” Wang says. “But in those few months of getting to live with them I got to really experience their joy and their mundane rhythms of life.”
In November Disney Branded Television acquired the film, which features dialogue in both Mandarin and English. “Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó” will be in the first installment of Disney’s “People and Places” relaunch, a revival of Walt Disney’s documentary film series in the 1950s and 1960s. The collection of short docus will feature real-life stories of people and places from around the globe told by a up-and-coming and established filmmakers.
“Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó” embodies the essence of Walt Disney’s storytelling legacy with its deep emotional impact and focus on family,” vice president of original documentaries at Disney Branded Television, Marjon Javadi told Variety in November. “As we celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company, Sean Wang reminds us, through his grandmothers’ beautiful relationship, that we can find magic in the every day at any age.”
In addition to directing Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó Wang served as a producer, along with Sam Davis ( “Period. End of Sentence”) and Malcolm Pullinger (“Winnebago Man”). Joanna Natasegara (“The White Helmets”) served as an executive producer.
Here is an exclusive clip from the doc, which Wang says “encapsulates some of the tones of the movie.”
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