Filmmaker Tracey Deer is a Mohawk filmmaker with multiple credits to her name, as a producer, writer and director. She currently resides in Kahnawake, her home reserve in Quebec.
Deer began her professional career with CanWest Broadcasting in Montreal, and later joined Rezolution Pictures to co-direct One More River: The Deal that Split the Cree, with Neil Diamond (Cree), which won the Best Documentary Award at the 2005 Rendez-vous du cinema québécois in Montreal and was nominated for Best Social/Political Documentary at the Geminis.
She next wrote, directed and filmed Mohawk Girls, about the lives of three teenagers, and herself as a teen, growing up in Kahnawake, which won the Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award at the 2005 imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival.
Her most recent solo documentary, Club Native, focuses on the issues of community membership and blood quantum, and was an official selection of Hot Docs 2008, won the Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Documentary at DOXA/Documentary Film and Video Festival, and won additional awards at imagineNative, First Peoples’ Festival (Land InSights) and Weeneebeg Film Festival. Tracey won the 2009 Gemini for best documentary writing and Club Native won the Canada Award, a special Gemini prize for the best multicultural program.
She has also teamed up with director Paul Rickard (Cree) of Mushkeg Media to co-write and co-direct a feature documentary for APTN about a grass roots Mohawk language immersion school in Akwesasne called Kanien’kehaka: Living the Language.
Deer formed Mohawk Princess Pictures in 2006, which produced her first short fiction called Escape Hatch, a dramedy about the romantic misadventures of a Mohawk woman on her quest for love.
In the fall of 2009, Tracey teamed up again with Rezolution Pictures to transform her short Escape Hatch into the pilot Mohawk Girls, the series for APTN. The team is now in development writing 6 scripts for season 1. In the summer of 2010, Tracey traveled to Winnipeg to direct an episode for APTN’s 3rd season of the casino drama Cashing In, produced by Buffalo Gals and Animiki See Digital Production Inc.
Most recently, Tracey produced, wrote and co-directed the 6-part documentary series Working it Out Together, hosted by Waneek Horn-Miller, produced by Rezolution Pictures for APTN. It is slated to air in the fall of 2011.
Currently, she has multiple projects in development, including a 3D feature documentary and a fiction feature screenplay. Tracey received a B.A. in film studies from Dartmouth College in 2000, graduating with two awards for excellence. In 2009, she shared the Don Haig Award with colleague Brett Gaylor for overall career achievement as an emerging filmmaker. In 2008, Playback Magazine declared her one of the 25 rising stars in the Canadian entertainment industry. She is also a member of The Writer’s Guild of Canada.
“Tracey represents the next wave of native filmmaking,” says Adam Symansky, NFB producer of Mohawk Girl and Club Native. “It isn’t based on the past so much as on native communities taking responsibility and control of their future. That is the challenge she is putting out in her films.”