Director Biography – Karisa Bruin (LABOR RELATIONS)

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Karisa Bruin is a writer-director specializing in dark and grounded comedy. Her inspired-by-real-life pilot Mile Markers, was awarded best comedy pilot at the Premiere Film Festival and her first short film, UberEx, premiered in competition at Dances With Films in 2018.

A former Chicagoan, Karisa holds her MFA in Screenwriting from DePaul University and her cum laude BA from Dartmouth. She has directed web series, music videos, pilot presentations, and short films.

An improv specialist, Karisa studied and performed improv at the iO, UCBNY, Annoyance, and Magnet Theaters. Her skills an improvisor allow her be flexible and creative on set, finding opportunities for humor inspired by what’s on the page.

Karisa has also worked as a professional actor in commercials, television and film.

Find out more at has the one-two punch of a Midwestern work-ethic and dark sense of humor that means that she takes her work seriously, but rarely herself. Karisa has worked as a freelance copywriter for ad agencies such as FCB and OKRP. She has also produced multiple web commercials with Fulton Market Films and director Scott Smitt. In 2017, Karisa made move to Los Angeles and she has worked as an actress in multiple national commercials, including Southwest Air, Fabletics, and DiGiorno.

Director Statement

This film is deeply personal and important to me. After I became a mother, I was unprepared for how torn I would feel between my work as a creative and my work as a mother; between my commitment to my career and my deep desire to mother my new child. We as mothers are expected to want to have it all but the way our society is structured it makes it almost impossible to do it all well when we don’t even have parental support in the form of paid maternity leave and we don’t value the work that it takes to be a parent.

It was my goal to hire mothers as department heads for this film. How did we do? Glad you asked.
44 people worked on this film. 5 of them are children.
Of the 39 adults who made Labor Relations come to life, 20 of them are moms, so a whopping 51% of the positions on the film, from cast to crew, prepro through post were filled by moms.
While hiring moms was my focus, I’m proud to say our crew was also 10% dads and overall 65% female.

Here are the positions that we filled with working moms:

All Producers
Production Designer
Every single actress (including extras) in the film is a mother (and at least one of her children is in the film, too!)
Script Supervisor
Locations Manager

Not only does this film serve as a satirical look at the pressures on mothers to have it all all the time, but it also is a step forward for me creatively in that I want to be able to mine my experience as a mother and use it in my filmmaking, as well as provide a space for other mothers to do the same. I don’t have to choose between being a mom and being a filmmaker, and I’m better at both because I’m both.

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