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I first heard of the Canadian feature film “Sex After Kids” on Twitter when one of the film’s stars, Zoie Palmer, tweeted that she and members of the cast would be in Santa Barbara for its SBIFF world premiere. Seeing that tweet was the only way I heard about the film, and knowing one of my favorite actresses would be there is the reason I attended the premiere. For low-budget films like “Sex After Kids,” a strong online campaign and social networking presence can make all the difference. In the case of “Sex After Kids,” constant twitter activity by the main actors led to a packed theater and a successful premiere.
“Sex After Kids” is an ensemble comedy that follows the lives of six unique families in their attempt to keep active sex lives after having children. The film cuts between a young couple with a newborn baby, a lesbian couple with different parenting styles, a single mom looking for sex, a single dad tired of one night stands, a model dealing with her new role as housewife, and an empty nest couple trying to keep the passion alive in their marriage. Ensemble comedies are usually tough to pull off, but “Sex After Kids” keeps a steady pace and cuts equally between each hilarious storyline, balancing them perfectly. The film is also very grounded in the modern era, positively depicting homosexual parents, single families, women and, of course, the importance of a healthy sex life.
The movie was an entirely Canadian production, filmed in Toronto, Ontario. Many recognizable television shows and movies, including the SyFy show “Lost Girl,” are also produced in Toronto, and fans of “Lost Girl” in the audience would have recognized a number of actors in “Sex After Kids,” most notably Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Ried.
After the film, three of the lead actresses — Zoie Palmer, Shannon Beckner and Amanda Brugel — along with the writer/director Jeremy Lalonde, talked about producing the movie and answered questions from the audience. Lalonde shared how the film was made, saying that he thought of the story, wrote the script, went into production and edited the film in less than a year. Anyone familiar with filmmaking will know this is an incredible accomplishment. Additionally, the film was funded primarily by IndieGoGo.com, a Kickstarter-like website where people create campaigns asking for donations from the public for a project.
The three actresses in attendance were friends of Lalonde’s before the film and all spoke about how they were eager to work with him, no matter what the project. In fact, “Sex After Kids” cast is filled with actors friendly with Lalonde, many parents themselves who signed onto the film before it was written, hoping to share their own experiences. This is apparent in the relatable realism of each story, character and situation.
The quality of a film on such a small budget and with such a short amount of time speaks to the new kind of ultra-independent filmmaking emerging today, which has sprung out of greater access to technology, expanded funding opportunities and particularly passionate artists. Hopefully, “Sex After Kids” will continue to screen successfully at film festivals and provide a positive example to indie filmmakers.
A version of this article appeared on page 7 of February 7th, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.