Reviews and Festivals
"The three families in Mama Bears provide a kaleidoscopic lens for understanding the tensions between faith, gender, and sexuality... Thoughtful."
— The Hollywood Reporter
"A breath of fresh air at a time when it can feel especially hard for trans kids and their parents to breathe. Mama Bears is a story of the transformative power of unconditional love we should all be reminded of, especially in dark times... A powerful film, full of humanity and heart, but sadly many of the people who need to see it most won't. Those who do are in for a powerful and beautiful experience."
— The Advocate
"Mama Bears is a vibrant documentary with a clear point of view and would work well in a high school or college setting. Segments of the film could be shown to illustrate specific points and would make sense outside of the context of the whole film. This film is recommended."
— Educational Media Reviews Online
"Kyi takes care to show us different stories driven by compassion and hope for the possibility of holding both faith and acceptance together in one's heart... An inspirational documentary fit for LGBTQ film programming and screenings for church settings and activist groups. Recommended."
— Video Librarian
"Poignant and ultimately inspiring"
— Eat Drink Films
"Inspirational, heart-tugging film... the [minds] it does affect are crucial as the movement it chronicles only continues to grow."
— Culture Vulture
"A timely, powerful take of Christian parents and LGBTQ kids. This powerful and infuriating documentary puts a human face on what is too often treated as a culture war abstraction. It's a film that should be seen by people who want to understand these issues as something more than an axis of hateful culture war posturing."
"Rivetingly emotional, with several moments that will draw tears from even the most cynical. There is something undeniably beautiful about the strength of these women to dig deep and pull something new out."
"Beautifully moving film that shows how challenging it can be to confront your own beliefs but the beauty that can come from evolving in those beliefs and embracing those we love as they live their truth. I hope that this documentary can serve as a birdge between communities of faith and those in the LGBTQ community."
— Cinema Sentries
"Both a heartbreaking and uplifting portrait of families who have had their lives thrown into turmoil on a personal and increasingly, on a legislative level. Mama Bears has the potential to be a spark that ignites conversation and real change in how LGBTQ kids, and especially trans youth, are seen by not only their families but their communities... A beautiful film that shows that love, especially a mother's love, can move mountains."
— In Their Own League
"The thing that makes [Kyi's] documentary so gripping yet full of love is how open and raw it is."
— Elements of Madness
"Thought-provoking. What Kyi beautifully captures through these two Mama Bears is the profound impact one can have when one chooses love instead of hate. Mama Bears is a touching documentary that explores the complex intersection of politics, religion and unconditional love."
— Mr. Will Wong
Out On Film, Audience Award, Best Documentary
FilmOut San Diego, Best Documentary
deadCenter Film Festival, Best Pride Feature
Outshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Documentary
Thin Line Festival, Social Recognition Awards, Social Impact
Cleveland Film Festival, Local Heroes Competition
Sun Valley Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Outshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival
BraveMaker Film Festival
New Haven Documentary Film Festival
Salt Spring Film Festival
Twin Cities Film Festival
Image + Nation Film Festival
Sun Valley Film Festival
Out On Film
Tallgrass Film Festival