The Grand Palaver (2017)

It's 1990's suburban America. 12-year-old, intellectual Chilli (Zana Rockwell) plays "Zelda" on SuperNES, meanwhile Tommy (Jacob Lentfer-Maguire) takes a pair of binoculars to his window ... See full synopsis »


Mia-Danica Jamora (screenplay), Mia-Danica Jamora
3 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Jacob Lentfer-Maguire Jacob Lentfer-Maguire ... Tommy
Jasper Lloyd Jasper Lloyd ... Dill
Zana Rockwell Zana Rockwell ... Chilli
Taryn Wallace Taryn Wallace ... Georgie
David Waters David Waters ... Henry Ganthrope


It's 1990's suburban America. 12-year-old, intellectual Chilli (Zana Rockwell) plays "Zelda" on SuperNES, meanwhile Tommy (Jacob Lentfer-Maguire) takes a pair of binoculars to his window where he spies on his neighbor Henry, who's actions have become peculiar lately. Across the backyard, Tommy watches as Henry (David Waters) scrambles working on an assortment of large parts that have been strewn across the ground. Chilli overhears Tommy's exclamation and joins him. Their third friend, Dill (Jasper Lloyd) walks into the bedroom and joins them peering through the window. Tommy's kid sister Georgie (Taryn Wallace), enters the room with her bunny "Minx."

Tommy and Chilli continues to spy on Henry as he comes out of his shed dragging what looks to be a body bag. Scared, Tommy and Chilli slump onto the bed. This gets Dill's attention, he grabs the binoculars and takes a look. Henry places leaves the 'body-bag' and walks back into the shed. Shaken, Dill slumps onto the bed. The three friends ...

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They had always searched for an adventure, but adventure finally found them.


Short | Adventure



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Release Date:

1 May 2017 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$40,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

MSQUARE Productions See more »
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Technical Specs



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User Reviews

A wonderful throwback to classic 80's adventures
31 August 2017 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

Part Dante, part Abrams and a little bit R. L. Stine, The Grand Pavalar draws on the styling and adolescent intrigue of mystery suburbia to create a short film event that feels like the start of something far greater.

Following a trio of imaginative, backwards cap and striped shirt-wearing kids as they delve into their research and study the strange man living next door, Michael Cristian Greene's film is a polished excerpt of a mysterious story (or, a mysterious excerpt of a polished story… the two seem interchangeable). The strange man appears to be building a grand contraption for a nefarious unknown reason, and with curiosity set to kill the rabbit, and a breakthrough in the case ratcheting up the level of suspense, they mightn't be able to resist the lure of a secretive shed and it's unidentified contents.

Greene directs The Grand Pavalar with a deep understanding of both his thematic references and the simple excitement of the genre, but it would all be for naught if the starring performances aren't naturalistic or charming. Thankfully, they are. Each young actor exhibits almost nostalgic traits; treating the mostly dialogue (and mini-monologue) based material in a manner reminiscent of the '80's heyday, when kids movies seemed to target audience enjoyment over the bottom-line.

The editing and sound design are also of a high quality, ensuring total immersion for its short running time. It's often said that the most important element of a short film is crafting a memorable ending, but here it's the overall mood and tone that leave the lasting impression.

Obviously made from a director and team with a strong fondness of cinema, and subsequently delightful to watch, this is a lovingly made short that will undoubtedly lead to great opportunities for all involved, that I'll anticipate with excitement.

4 grand conspiracies out of 5

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