Following yesterdays industry screening at TIFF, Variety reports that Apple have acquired the rights to documentary ‘Dads’ for its upcoming streaming service. The documentary sees actress Bryce Dallas Howard’s directorial debut with Bryce Dallas Howard’s father, Ron Howard handling producer duties.

In partnership with the Promundo Institute – the documentary explores contemporary fatherhood through testimonies and wisdom from famous funny men including Judd Apatow, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, and more. ‘Dads’ combines those antidotes with portraits of non-celebrity dads from around the world – including Brazil, Japan and the United States.

Apple’s acquisition of ‘Dads’ is part of its deal with Imagine Documentaries. The partnership will see Imagine Documentaries films premier on Apple TV+ alongside limited theatrical runs.

Attendees of the Toronto International Film Festival will have further opportunities to see the documentary this week. Further screenings for the Apple original documentary are set for Sat 7th at 12:30pm and Fri Sep 13th at 9:45am.

After the September 6th screening of ‘Dads’ during TIFF, Bryce Dallas Howard took part in a short Q&A:

Q: What got you started on this project?

BDH: I’ve obviously been very privileged in my life to have not only a remarkable father but also a remarkable grandfather. My brother is a remarkable father and my husband is an incredible father. I just wanted to celebrate that. A year ago I was introduced to an incredible place called the profound institute in Brazil where they do a lot of remarkable work around gender stereotypes; masculinity, toxic masculinity with men. Specifically around the stigma of fathers care-giving. When I originally pitched the idea I didn’t know my brother was going to have a kid. The whole time I was like ‘We need an expecting father!’. Women get baby showers and stuff like that which is great. Please do celebrate us because its really hard to give birth. However there’s no right of passage for men and they have just as much responsibility as the women and they want to be just as involved as the women. Maybe not all men, but honestly I think the narrative we’ve been taught about men and how they feel about fathering is completely incorrect, especially now. Totally incorrect. The Promundo Institute have done a lot of research around that. I started this about a year ago with the intention of filming fathers around the world. I don’t really go to the theatre unless its a comedy, because I want to laugh at people. That’s why I got a lot of comedians.

Q: You mentioned that you interviewed your grandfather a year ago. What was that for?

BDH: I’ve been secretly directing for the last fifteen years or so. Every year just trying to learn and grow. It’s been incredibly exciting and wonderful. One of the projects that I got to do was a piece for Vanity Fair about the 1960’s. I met with my grandad and started working on getting stories and getting his voice on tape. I didn’t remember the interview that much as it was from 2013.

Q: When you had the opportunity to interview your own father, did you get a chance to ask him a question that you may have not had a chance to ask him before?

BDH: Well, we talk a lot in our family, so getting to do interviews with my family members was really fun. It was one-on-one time and as one of four kids, I like one-on-one time. There’s a lot we’ve talked about. My dad has said many, many times that he feels that he was the recipient of his fathers genius. My grandfather was an ops manager and an even better teacher who was able to pass on so much to my dad. Even more than that, he was a next level father.

Q: How did you find the non-famous characters for your documentary?

BDH: A lot of different ways. The institute in Brazil were incredibly helpful. Early on in the process we knew we had about a year to get the documentary done. Normally with documentary’s you know to plan on hunkering down for several years because you want to capture gold and you don’t want it to be artificial. I thought to myself, we’re not going to want to be going into all of these peoples homes extensively because that would be weird. What if we reach out to the daddy vlogger community? They’ve been filming their kids non-stop and in some cases before smart-phones but since 2007 and there’s a lot of footage. They figured out what works and whats the best stuff and edited it together. We really dived into those communities. Meeting those individuals was a big turning point because we were able to get all this footage which was very cool.

Q: How would you describe what a dad is after you have asked so many other people?

BDH: I would say, for me, its very simple. A father is a care-giver. That’s what a father is. A man may be something different but a father is a care-giver.

Q: What do you think is the difference between a mother and a father?

BDH: Whilst making this I was trying to figure out what is a dads role but also, what do dads think their role is. I think thats perhaps one distinction between fathers and mothers. It has to do with the culture around us, how we are raised and the expectations When it comes to care-giving. There’s to much of a difference. It seems like there’s more of a difference than there is and thats whats not fair about it. Specifically talking about kids being with their fathers right after the children are born. As a mom I didn’t feel competent. As the oldest of four kids, I was always the one to take care of my little cousins but when I had my son at 25 I did not know what to do. My husband did. He’s not someone who’s raised kids, he’s not someone who ever took an interest in that but he instinctually knew how to connect with his baby and care for his baby. I think its society that undermines that again and again which makes some fathers lose confidence and feel like they aren’t competent and the best thing for the kid is to rely on the mother and trust the mother. Research has proven that’s not the best thing again and again and again.

Apple TV+ will reportedly launch this November with more details expected to be unveiled by the company at its special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 10th.

Sigmund Judge

Sigmund Judge

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Sigmund is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Screen Times, where he writes about Apple TV, tvOS, Apple TV+ and the Apple TV app. Sigmund is also the co-host of the Screen Times podcast.