The Grandfather Paradox

A sci-fi comedy short that explores the infamous causality paradox: if one is able to travel back in time and succeed in killing his grandfather before he can reproduce, who exactly is it that travelled back?

Indeed this is the predicament Professor Thaddeus finds himself in. His grandson has travelled from the future to solve this paradox once and for all.

As rumor of the grandson’s visit runs through the university, students pack Professor Thaddeus’ classroom to see who will be proven right. Based on Edward M. Lerner’s short story Grandpa?

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Jean-François Da Sylva
Writer: Sanjay F. Sharma
Producer: Agata De Santis

Personal statement

Director Jean-François Da Sylva says:

“In 2004 I came across Ed Lerner’s short story Grandpa? I couldn’t believe how much entertainment could be packed into a mere seven pages. I contacted Ed and told him of my intention to turn it into a short. To my great relief he enthusiastically agreed.

Throughout development and production, my aim was to stay true to the story, to be faithful to the tongue-in-cheek humour that makes his story so charming. I was very much aware that I was telling a joke, and I wanted it told properly. The most important factor was to make sure that the events felt real.

I didn’t want my audience to laugh because the F/X were awful. I wanted them to laugh because it’s a smart, funny story.”

About Jean-François Da Sylva


Jean-François graduated from Concordia University’s department of Communications with distinction in 2000. He immediately began working as a sound recordist, then gravitated to the positions of propsmaster, art director, unit manager, first assistant director, best boy electric, gaffer and cinematographer.

He has worked for the past 10 years on Canadian short films, documentary, commercials, television series and major Hollywood productions. Along the way Jean-François has acquired significant experience as a screenwriter and director.

His latest short film, The Grandfather Paradox, has amassed many awards through a successful festival run. It is also part of the syllabus in the mathematics course of the Los Angeles Film School, where it plays once a month.

As the co-writer of Dead Tired, Jean-François has received much financial support from many funding agencies for the past two years. Initially selected by Telefilm Canada’s Feature It program, Dead Tired has then received two grants from the Harold Greenberg Fund, for the first and second drafts respectively, and an additional grant from SODEC for the second draft of the script.

One comment

  1. Podcasting's Rich Sigfrit

    I have been waiting to see this flick online for years after seeing it at the Balticon film Festival (about 6-7 years ago?). It’s one of my absolute favs.

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