(CBS Local)– Sasie Sealy’s new movie “Lucky Grandma” will make New Yorkers nostalgic about life before COVID-19.

The film follows a Chinese grandma living in New York’s Chinatown who takes her life savings and goes all in at a casino.

“This movie was like most independent movies, it was a labor of love,” said Sealy in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “It was a lot of hard work and also a joy to put together because we were kind of let loose in the playground and didn’t have too many corporate overlords overseeing us. It was definitely really fun and the experience of shooting in Chinatown was amazing. I’ve lived in New York for a long time and have always loved Chinatown, but there’s something so mysterious about it. I speak a little Chinese and have gone to the restaurants, but I didn’t know the people there. It always seemed larger than life to me. When we were actually filming the movie, I got to know people and I would see people that I knew walking down the block.”

“Lucky Grandma” opens virtually on Friday, May 22 and the film is being used as an opportunity to raise money for those impacted by the spread of coronavirus in Chinatown. The grassroots initiative called Welcome To Chinatown will directly support business impacted by closures in Chinatown. Sealy is hoping this initiative and her film can help people hurting financially and emotionally right now.

“Ordinary and everyday people responded to the needs of their neighborhood,” said Sealy. “With Chinatown, they felt it a little harder and a little earlier because of the xenophobia and New York was hit really hard. People stopped coming and so many of those businesses are mom and pop businesses. They don’t have a lot of leeway in terms of profit margins. I was just concerned that the neighborhood as I know it might now survive. Any of the funds from our iTunes pre-sales are going to the organization. There are a lot of businesses in America that need help, but this one is special to me.”

Watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.

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