Dad documentary follows seven fathers who do it all

Saanich resident part of production for Dads: An Exploration into Contemporary Fatherhood was one of four raised by single dad

Darryl Whetung lives in the Saanich panhandle on Haultain near Richmond Ave. Submitted

From his home office on Haultain Street in Saanich’s Camosun panhandle, filmmaker and producer Darryl Whetung is in the middle of so many projects he can’t count them on one hand.

The accomplished filmmaker has been involved in dozens of projects over the past decade but this week it’s the 2013 documentary he produced called Dads: An Exploration into Contemporary Fatherhood that stands out.

The documentary (available to screen free in Canada at CBC.ca) is in its fifth year and is still reaching new viewers and has been screened around the world. It follows seven dads in various situations based in Vancouver, London and New York City, including a single parent trying to adopt the son he takes care of full time but has no biological connection to.

“At the time I came on to this project (with the Sound Media) dads in [Western] television and commercial ads were still being portrayed as old school dads, who couldn’t change a diaper, who didn’t have time to take a kid to baseball and couldn’t cook a meal,” Whetung said. “[I liked this because] it took people into the home to show the whole cliche of what it is to be a dad completely wrong.

“As a dad I’ve heard so many dads say you do so much more than we used to,” Whetung said. “I think [a lot of dads] are more present for their children now and dads are spending more time consciously and lovingly with their kids.”

Whetung knows first hand, as he was among the four children his dad raised as a single parent with Objiway values in Sidney and Victoria.

“When I look back I don’t know how he did it,” Whetung said.

Whetung is an editor on the upcoming series Nations at War on APTN (which will recount the many battles between early settlers with First Nations such as the Metis and Mohawk), is in talks for a third season as an editor of of Moosemeat and Marmalade (and director, season two, episode two), and is looking to turn two different book options into films, while teaching others to make documentaries from the ground up at Pacific Design Academy.