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Available May 23, 2021 5:00 PM UTC
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An intoxicatingly sweet and generous documentary surrounding adoption, chosen family, and queer love, Mom & M takes an emotional and uplifting look at the Richard’s, a modern family of three. Elise (Mom) and Nikki (M) have been lovers since childhood, growing up in a strict Christian environment in Louisiana. After they married and decided to start a family, they adopted a hilarious and wild little girl named Sansa who battled early childhood leukemia all of her young life. Shortly after the adoption of Sansa, Nikki decided to come out as a transgender woman, and start the process of transitioning. She says, “I was trying so hard to be a dad, and I was miserable.” The filmmaker follows the Richards as they explore gender roles within their family structure that break away from the “traditional” families they grew up with. Nikki and Elise share their process of figuring out their new normal, redefining their goals for family values outside of blood relations. 

Burchick portrays their lives through a series of milestones: we see two of Sansa’s first days of school, two Halloweens, and major medical procedures for Sansa, Nikki, and Elise throughout the time period that the film documents. By studying these landmarks as opposed to day-to-day reality, the viewer is able to see major changes and progressions in the couple’s, and Sansa’s, lives, highlighting discussions of parenting challenges, work and artistic life, and early childhood education and development. However most of all, Burchick gives us a window into the pure, grounded, and open love the family shares.

—Emily Eddy, Guest Festival Shorts Programmer MdFF 2021

Appropriate for viewers age 13+

Content Considerations: Discussion of transphobic attitudes

  • Year
  • Runtime
    60 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Note
    English closed captions available
  • Director
    Jena Burchick
  • Producer
    Jena Burchick
  • Co-Producer
    Jessica Baroody-Saada, Mei Lin Lau Mann, Tyler C. Peterson
  • Cast
    Elise Richard, Nikki Richard, Sansa Richard
  • Cinematographer
    Jena Burchick
  • Editor
    Jena Burchick
  • Composer
    Ellen Cherry
  • Sound Design
    Camila Franco Ribeiro Gomide