Family Squares tells the story of a family that’s been divided for years, but when matriarch grandma Mabel suddenly dies, the family has to come together. Her death takes the family on a journey, discovering that not only did she keep secrets, but so did everyone else. They find their way back to each other and realize that while you can’t choose your family, you can choose to be friends with them.

It’s a hilarious, yet heartfelt ode to the times we were in during the past couple of years, and a true depiction of how a family is thrown into turmoil with the loss of one of its key members. During the course of the film, there are pre-recorded video messages from grandma that are only revealed after her death. She holds nothing back at this point, as why should she. Her only hope is that everyone resolve any outstanding issues and reunite as a family unit. There are are the usual emotions and turmoil that comes with such tragedy, including lies, deception, loss, confusion, anger, arguments, jealousy, discovery, and so much more.

The film from writer-director Stephanie Laing is a love letter to the passing of her own mother, which was for the most part shot remotely during quarantine, with Laing directing actors via video conference. Hence, the film is shot entirely via Zoom with none of the family members/actors actually being in the same room.  As messy as this might sound, it actually comes off wonderfully, with the help of the talented cast to carry it along, including the legendary Henry Winkler.

Zaing explains, “This story is deeply personal and dedicated to my mother who died while we were FaceTiming. It was incredibly hard and still is, and I wanted to tell this story because so many families have lost loved ones during the pandemic without being able to say goodbye in person. This was a huge team effort — the cast dressed their own sets, set up their own cameras, did their own sound, their own hair, makeup, and wardrobe. We did virtual scouts and FaceTime wardrobe fittings.”

Produced by Unbounded Media. Available from Screen Media Films.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.