The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story

Canadian comedian Sandra Battaglini is an award-winning performer, a headlining comic and a veteran of the Just For Laughs comedy festival. Despite her success Sandra feels trapped in a system that offers low pay, few opportunities and a lack of support from the government.

(WORLD PREMIERE at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 1 at 8pm – details & tickets)

The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story is an eye-opening documentary that follows Sandra as she rallies the biggest names in the Canadian comedy industry in an effort to address the many challenges they face. Sandra and filmmaker Matt Kelly give viewers an all-access pass to the murky world of Canadian showbiz, a world where the funniest people in the country struggle and the industry strives to keep it that way.

The film features interviews with over 30 of Canada’s top comics including Scott Thompson (Kids In The Hall), Steve Patterson (The Debaters), Debra DiGiovanni (Conan), Mark Forward (Fargo), DeAnne Smith (Just For Laughs) and K-Trevor Wilson (Letterkenny).

Matt Kelly is the producer and director of the disruptive comedy documentary The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story. Matt has produced and directed for Canadian icons like rock band Rush and Wayne Gretzky. Matt created and produced Hookin’ Up, a successful television series for WFN that aired 4 seasons across North America.

Matt’s television project The Uncomfort Zone was a finalist at Just For Laughs ComedyPRO 2014 where it sold to Big Beach Films. In 2016 Matt’s project Inhuman Resources was selected by comedy superstar Kevin Hart for his digital comedy platform LOL Network. Matt’s scripted comedy pilot Mrs Football made the finals of JFL ComedyPRO 2017.

On stage Sandra’s been hailed as the Joan Rivers of Canada but off stage she’s become comedy’s Michael Moore by using her humour and wit to help share the plight of her community. As her story gains national attention Sandra confronts media conglomerates, comedy impresarios and even the federal government, all while making the audience laugh, cringe and cry at the state of our comedy industry.

What inspired your film?
One of my best friends lost his fight with cancer. I made a short documentary about his life called A PORTRAIT OF DAMIAN. Making that film reminded me that you don’t need too much money and help to create a film if the story is good and I felt that the untold story of the Canadian stand-up comedy business was worth telling.

What was the biggest challenge in making your film?
Making a film like this presented unforeseen challenges every day. Too many to name just one.

What was the best part of the experience for you?
The best part of the experience was working with dozens of amazing Canadian comedians and watching Sandra work as hard as she did to stand up for her colleagues.

What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?
This movie was made without the help of any grants or agencies or broadcasters or distributors. Sometimes in Canada we’re told to wait around for that shit to come in. My advice is to just turn on your camera and start working.

What’s next for you?
The next project will be another all-Canadian comedy project. Stay tuned.

640 Toronto – Inside Jokes – Sunday October 20, 2019 – The Mayor of Comedy
Mayor of Comedy – Review – Amen Jafri
THE MAYOR OF COMEDY: A CANADIAN STAND-UP STORY Premieres at Ottawa Canadian Film Festival – VIMOOZ

Our Call for Submissions for OCan21 opens on FilmFreeway early in 2021.


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