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Little Deer

  • Showtime: Thurs, Feb 8th @ 7:00 PM

  • Runtime: 33:50

  • Directed By: Jonathan Elliott

  • Rating: GA

  • Genre: Drama, Historical, Indigenous

Sponsored By:

Ely Film Festival's 2024 Opening Night Program is sponsored by Ely Winter Festival. Pick up an Ely Winter Festival brochure to explore the full 10-day schedule of events across town.

We encourage people to arrive 20 minutes early; the EFF24 Opening Ceremony will kick off promptly at 7PM with speakers and songs / prayers from a traditional Anishinaabe drum team, followed by the film screenings and a Q&A with arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre, moderated by Ely Winter Festival.


On Christmas Eve, 1967, two young Indigenous girls are forced to battle the elements, confront their darkest secrets and work together in order to return home to their families after a daring escape from the Mohawk Institute Residential School. This harrowing coming-of-age story was developed with survivors of the Mohawk Institute and is based on their real experiences.

This film is a story about the resilience of Indigenous youth, the power of friendship, and the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system on Indigenous people and communities.

Director Bios:

JONATHAN ELLIOTT is a Mohawk filmmaker from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. Since attending York University’s Film Production program, he has worked as a director and cinematographer on a variety of projects, including: Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On (feature documentary), Beautiful Scars (feature documentary), Standing Proud - TD Bank (commercial), Play New - Lesley Hampton (Nike commercial), Ghost Hunters of the Grand River (APTN series), Wild Archaeology (APTN series), Friday Night Thunder (APTN series), Amplify (APTN series), Tsi Teyoto:te - Even in the Silence, Along the Water's Edge, Acknowledgment, and Her Water Drum.

Jonathan’s award-winning body of work focuses on telling contemporary Indigenous stories that explore individuals’ complex relationships to their cultural identity, families and communities.
His projects have been nationally broadcast on TV and screened at various international film festivals in New Zealand, Italy, London, the United States, Canada, etc. Some of these festivals include: imagineNATIVE, Vancouver International Film Festival, LA Skins Festival, Red Nation International Film Festival, Maoriland Film Festival, Art With Impact, etc.

Jonathan is a member of the advisory board for Art With Impact, a LA-based company that focuses on creating and showcasing short films that promote positive representation of mental health issues in schools across North America. He was a participant in the 2021 ImagineNative Feature Screenwriting Intensive program, where he developed his feature script Little Thunder. Jonathan was the 2018 artist-in-residence for the imagineNATIVE/CSV development program. He was selected as one of the Emerging 20 artists at the 2018 Reel World Film Festival and has been the recipient of grants through Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, imagineNATIVE, Charles Street Video, Taking it Global, Art With Impact, William F. White’s and Astrolab Studios Inc. to produce his work.

Currently, Jonathan is in development on several projects, including his first feature film.