Cara Mamma World Premiere

Emerging. Daniela and Naissa smile at eachother through a webbed hoop

At BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Festival screening on Saturday 23rd March at 10:45 am. A documentary across 3 years with Sky Neal of Satya Film.

When dancer Naissa tells his mum Daniela that he identifies as a trans male and will be transitioning, she struggles to understand. Through candid personal and loving letters exchanged over three years, dream-like allegorical sequences and cinema verité, Cara Mamma follows Naissa as he stands firmly for his independence and identity, and Daniela as she wrestles with her fear of losing a daughter. As Naissa embarks on his professional dance career and proudly embodies his gender, his mother also embarks on a journey of understanding and acceptance of her son’s choices.

Cara Mamma brings to life a series of intimate letters between a mother (Daniela) and her adult child (Naissa, now 24), providing the narrative structure of the film and offering a rare insight into this mother-child relationship. This is a rarely-told story that takes us on an intimate journey towards understanding and communication, whilst dealing with universal themes of coming of age and motherhood.

“ With Cara Mamma we want to not only tell our story but give voice to others who are navigating similar journeys and to let them know they are not alone. We want to highlight the nuances, the fragility and ferocity in this journey, bravery and fear, determination and dignity. We aspire to live in a world where gender diverse, non binary and trans people are visible, valued and live safe and fulfilled lives.” -Naissa and Daniela

This documentary has received development funding from Screen Cornwall and The Film and TV Charity’s John Braebourne Award. A short version has been Commissioned by LYFTA.

Producer, Director: Sky Neal, Satya Films
Letters: Daniela Essart and Naissa Essart Nielsen
Editor, Sound Designer: Dara McLarnon
Cinematography: James Hughes and Sky Neal
Executive Producers: Lindsey Dryden and Charlie Philips
Post Production: The School of Film and TV, Falmouth University
Advisory team: Su Reby and Henri T
Main contributor of music: Bea Brennan