Finding the funny side of weighty issues like equal pay and affordable childcare — that's the challenge a pair of filmmakers cut out for themselves.
They're close to finishing a feature-length comedy, "The Bad Mother," that they hope plays on the comical side of the balancing act a family faces as both parents pursue their careers and raising kids.
"We want to turn up the volume in the conversation about women, family and work," said one of the film's creators, Sarah Kapoor, a documentarian and former CBC producer.
She finds the idea "frustrating" that a woman who wants to have a job and a family is "some version of having it all." Rather, Kapoor said, such a setup is "a necessity" in most Canadian cities.
'We're not trying to be preachy about this.' - Filmmaker David-James Fernandes
Kapoor teamed up with her friend and business partner, Hamilton-based David-James Fernandes, to self-finance the film, the team's first. Now they're trying to raise $50,000 by Mother's Day to finish filming and submit it to festivals.
Fernandes joked a film exploring a female lead's attempts to balance life as a worker, a mom, a daughter and a wife is not typical fodder that attracts big film investors. That's part of the reason for the decisions to make the film funny.
"We're not trying to be preachy about this," he said. "We're trying to be entertaining and universal. Child care is going to be an issue in the upcoming election, about how do people even afford to have kids when they live in cities and have large mortgages to pay?"
Kapoor wrote the character and stars in the film with members of her real family, including her then-one year old, Daya.
The vast majority of the film was shot in Hamilton, and the filmmakers promise local viewers glimpses of popular landmarks like the Gage Park playground, fountain and tropical greenhouse, the Wentworth Stairs, Albion Falls, a condo at the Stinson School and the brow park lookout behind Juravinski Hospital. They took over Baltimore House for a day for a "fraction" of what it would have cost to find a similar venue in Toronto, Fernandes said.
Kapoor and her family moved from a squished condo in Toronto to a place in Hamilton, though she's currently based in B.C. Kapoor cheered the creative spirit in Hamilton.
"There's a spirit in Hamilton of you can do it, there's lots of motivated people who want to produce art and culture," she said.
Watch the trailer for the film below. (On mobile? Watch here.):