MAMA HAS A MUSTACHE is a short, quirky, fully animated documentary about gender and family, as seen through children’s eyes. Driven completely by audio interviews of kids ages 5-10, the film uses these sound bytes combined with clip-art and mixed media to explore how children are able to experience a world outside of the traditional gender binary.
The idea of gender as a construct, rather than a biological trait, is not a new one. But the ways in which Americans are embracing this notion on a broad, national scale are vast and exciting. As we enter 2021, a slew of terms are now used to describe anyone who identifies as outside the bounds of traditional gender expression: gender nonconforming, gender variant, gender fluid, genderqueer, among others, all used adamantly to eclipse the gender binary. Within this context, kids’ own gender identities and their perceptions of their parents’ gender are more complicated and nuanced than ever.
How do kids, many of whom embrace this gender nonbinary, perceive their own and their parents’ gender? What are the ways in which children of nonbinary people are freed up to express themselves in a whole new range of forms? Parents, teachers, and kids are now in a place where they are ready to begin talking about these issues, ready to bring these conversations into their daily lives.
While legislation around gender and identity continues to try to keep kids from being who they are, and during a time when our world is suffering from so much pain and divisiveness, MAMA HAS A MUSTACHE seeks to explore and uncover this exciting new frontier--with lightness, humor, childlike openness, and play.
Our director is a nonbinary Emmy-nominated, documentary filmmaker and tenured professor. Contact us to learn more about bookings.
We are excited to be doing MORE with this film than the traditional film festival release. We are bringing a huge focus on impact into our outreach plans, which include the following:
A combination of VIRTUAL & LIVE EVENTS in conjunction with our regional and national partner non-profit organizations
Creation of a TRAINING TOOLKIT & DISCUSSION GUIDE
CONFERENCES in the areas of Education, Child Development, Psychology, and LGBT/Gender Studies
EXCLUSIVE SCREENINGS available to corporate partners and their members through screenings with employee resource groups
Email us to learn more about sharing the film in your community or organization.
MAMA HAS A MUSTACHE is a wonderful film! The children who star in it are delightful—so smart and funny and loving and free. It is so inspiring to hear children talk about gender in such a matter-of-fact, respectful, and accepting way. I had a smile on my face the whole time I watched the film, even at the end when I also had tears in my eyes. To hear children saying that they love themselves “one-hundred percent” and wouldn’t change anything about themselves is nothing short of revolutionary. Thank you for creating this important, moving film.
— Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies and Sparkle Boy
I laughed out loud and I was deeply moved; you can't ask for much more than that from a piece of art, can you? I especially love the way the film captures the kids’ joy, their wit, their individual personalities, their HAPPINESS, and how smart they are. The animation goes along just perfectly.
— Silas House, Author of Clay's Quilt and Southernmost
The sense of freedom these kids feel, the permission their parents' own gender creativity grants them to be themselves, whatever that might be, is a delight to behold--and that delightfulness is gorgeously captured in Max Strebel's whimsical animation.
— Susan Stryker, author, Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution
MAMA HAS A MUSTACHE is a delightfully real and candid film about gender identity that I could use in a multitude of ways in my middle school English classroom. I would use this film as a precursor for books that feature LGBTQIA+ characters, and as an opportunity for students to have space for an authentic expression of self and follow it up with an 'I Am' Poem Activity. This film has an immense value not only for LGBTQI+ students but also students who are allies, students who are questioning, parents, families, and community members.
— Amy Sara Lim, Middle School Teacher
This film provides an opportunity for students of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and identities to start conversations about their authentic selves, and how they want to express themselves. It supports dialogue between parents and their children and creates space for this critical conversation.
— Jiva Jimmons, Secondary School Teacher
I loved every moment, I was riveted by these cuties. What a gift, this is a wondrous and beautiful articulation of the future. The material and artistry speaks for itself. The film is *so* beautiful and forward thinking, a true testament to the possibilities of the future.
— Zackary Drucker, Producer of Transparent and Lady and the Dale
Engaging, important work. The posing of questions allows for a very `soft landing’ onto the complex terrain of both gender identities and family constellations. The kids were drawn so much as individuals that one could enter into their stories very easily, and their portrayals of themselves and their families allow for the complexities to be revealed, but also the rather ordinaryness of family life in its many permutations. I can imagine that kids would find this very accessible, keeping them in the stories and the inquiries.
— Diane O’Donoghue, PhD, Director, Program for Public Humanities, Tufts University
"Sharing the film at our conference gave attendees new tools to navigate gender identity. Director Sally Rubin speaks to the hard-hitting questions about trans parenting, raising nonbinary kids, and how this conversation is reshaping how we view what a family looks like."
— Erin Uritus, CEO
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Using audio interviews, animation, and colorful collage mixed media, this adorably charming documentary short offers a touching guide to trans parenting. Told from the perspective of the kids’ experiences, filmmaker Sally Rubin gently interviews kids on what it’s like to grow up with trans and gender nonconforming parents. Their observations are honest, hilarious, and always straight from the heart.
— Jude Dry, IndieWire
An adorable and smart film! I love these kids, the animation, and how the film promotes ease around these subjects rather than tension and fears around getting things “wrong.”
— Amy Scholder, Producer
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen
"This is a groundbreaking film - a must see for literally everyone."
— Sam Feder, Director
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen
"Thank you so much for sharing your film. I just watched it, and I was completely blown away by its beauty. It was such a joy to hear young people freely and lovingly and matter-of-factly talk about gender expression, their own trans and non-binary parents, and their love and acceptance of themselves. It's a beautiful film, and thank you so much for making it. Many years ago, before I went for my PhD, I was an elementary music teacher in NYC, and I can see this film being very important in elementary classrooms (and PTA meetings). It humanizes trans families in a way that feels very important right now."
— Naomi Podber, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Chapman University
Frameline, San Francisco
Holly Shorts Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying), Los Angeles
Jefferson Elementary School, San Francisco
Mill Valley Film Festival
Mount Washington Elementary School, Los Angeles
Outfest, Los Angeles
San Bernardino Valley City College
San Francisco International Film Festival
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, Colorado Springs
Vail Film Festival
Dunedin International Film Festival
Tampa Bay International Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying)
Reinhardt University, Waleska
Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying), Embrace Award
Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis
Nantucket Film Festival
Frozen River Film Festival, Winona
Hamptons International Film Festival
Kid Flicks Tour (national screenings organized by New York International Children’s Film Festival)
New York International Children's Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying), Nominee, Audience Award
Rochester International Children’s Film Festival
The Women's Film Festival, Philadelphia
Providence Children’s Film Festival
Port Townsend Film Festival, Women and Film
Seattle International Children’s Film Festival, Seattle, Winner, Best Short Documentary
TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival
Calgary International Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying), Alberta, Canada
Global Media Makers Workshop, Kerala, India
Film Independent Documentary Workshop, Kolkata, India
Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Florence Queer Film Festival, Florence, Italy
Out + Equal Workplace Summit 2021
EDGY Conference 2022: Dimensions of Gender 2022
ILGA World Conference 2022