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Mama Bears


Directed by: Daresha Kyi

Runtime: 90 min

Year: 2022

Country: USA

Rated: Not Rated

Language: English

Film Type: Documentary

MAMA BEARS is an intimate exploration of two “mama bears” – conservative, Christian mothers who have become fierce advocates for LGBTQ+ people – and a young lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance exemplifies why the mama bears movement is so vital. Spread across the country but connected through private Facebook groups, they call themselves “mama bears” because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQ+ people. Although some may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their offspring safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.

MAMA BEARS is an intimate, thought-provoking exploration of the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears” —whose profound love for their LGBTQ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community — and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important.

  • Doors open at 8 pm
  • Movies begin at dusk


The feature film is preceded by two short films highlighting queer experiences with parenthood from Sundance Institute.


The Saint of Dry Creek (Sundance Film Festival 2016)
Directed by Julie Zammarchi | USA | 4 min

  • Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. Here, he remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.


The Little Deputy (Sundance Film Festival 2015)
Directed by Trevor Anderson | Canada | 9 min

  • Trevor tries to have his photo taken with his father.


Community partner, Amplify Utah, is tabling on-site before the film to inform and engage about journalism and representation in our state.


Outdoor Film Series takes place on the east side of Liberty Park, just north of the Chase Home Museum near the middle of the park. The Summer Film Series logo on the map below highlights the screening location or click here to see it on Google Maps.

Liberty Park Map


Utah Film Center’s Outdoor Summer Film Series is proudly presented with support by Salt Lake City Government.

This film is proudly presented with support by Sundance Institute.

This film is proudly presented with support by Amplify Utah.


Friday, July 8 @ 8:00 PM

In Person |

Liberty Park


ADA accommodations are available. If you have additional needs, please visit our Accessibility page to connect with an ADA coordinator.

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