Scene from the film Mother's Day
Scene from the film Mother's Day
Scene from the film Mother's Day
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Mother's Day

  • United States
Audio Tracks 

An annual bus service that takes children to visit their mothers in prison explores the impact of mass incarceration on a generation of youth.

"Mother’s Day is a celebration of motherhood and the influence that mothers have on society. But for too many American children — including those I filmed for this project — the holiday serves as a bitter reminder that their mothers are locked behind bars.

This film follows an overnight bus program that takes some of those children to visit their parents in California prisons during the weekends around Mother’s Day (they coordinate similar trips for Father’s Day). Journeys can be as long as ten hours one-way — at the end of which children get to spend a few precious hours with their mothers.

We made Mother's Day to remind us of the steep price an entire generation of youth - and by extension, our nation - has to pay because of systems that remain broken across America. The incarceration epidemic is not just today's problem; it's a structural disaster that stretches across generations, and will be with us for many years to come." - Elizabeth Lo


  • Original title
    Mother's Day
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Elizabeth Lo, R. J. Lozada
  • Editing
    Elizabeth Lo
  • Music
    Jonathan Zalben
  • Sound
    Lawrence Everson
  • Duration
    8 min (1-15 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
    • 2017 New York Times Op Doc
    • 2018 PBS POV National Broadcast
    • 2018 Aeon Video
    • 2017 Short of the Week
    • 2018 Aspen ShortsFest
    • 2018 Sarasota Film Festival
    • 2018 Ashland Independent Film Festival
    • 2018 Rooftop Films Summer Series
    • 2017 New Orleans Film Festival
    • 2017 Camden International Film Festival
    • 2017 The DocYard
    • 2017 Palm Springs ShortFest
    • 2018 Big Sky Film Festival
    • 2017 San Diego Asian Film Festival
    • 2018 Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
    • 2017 Walla Walla Movie Crush
    • 2018 Reel Women UK
    • 2017 Backyard Films
    • 2017 15 Short Film Festival
  • Awards
    • 2017 Audience Award for Best Short Documentary, SF DocFest
    • 2017 Best Documentary Short, Pacific Film Movement
    • 2018 National Headliner Award Winner Second Place
    • 2018 Curator's Choice Award, Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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