Private Project


"SHIFT" is a half-hour documentary about the indigenous youth from Carcross, Yukon who have spent the past 10 years transforming traditional trails around their community into a world-class mountain biking destination - and changing themselves along the way.

  • Kelly Milner
  • Kelly Milner
  • David Hamelin
    Director of Photography
  • Alex Chan
    Additional Photography
  • Grant McWatters
    Additional Photography
  • David Hamelin
  • Jordy Walker
    Original Soundtrack
  • Daniel Ashley and The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers
    Additional Tracks
  • Jordy Walker
    Sound Mix
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Mountain Culture, aboriginal, documentary, youth, reconciliation, Sport, tradition
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 8, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Banff Mountain Film Festival
    Banff, Alberta
    November 5, 2016
    People's Choice Award
  • Yellowknife International Film Festival
    Yellowknife, NT
    October 2, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Tromsø International Film Festival
    January 19, 2017
    Official Selection: Films From the North
  • Lookout Wild Film Festival
    Chattanooga, Tennassee
    United States
    January 21, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Alpin Film Festival
    January 28, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Fernie Mountain Film Festival
    Fernie, British Columbia
    February 25, 2017
    Best of the Festival
  • Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
    February 11, 2017
    Best of the Festival World Tour Selection
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
    Washington, D.C.
    United States
    March 24, 2017
  • New Zealand Mountain Film Festival
    New Zealand
    June 30, 2017
    Best Film on Mountain Culture
  • Whistler Adventure Film Series
    May 19, 2017
  • Picurt - Mostra de Cinema de Muntanya dels Pirineus
    La Seu d'Urgell
    June 20, 2017
  • Dawson City Short Film Festival
    Dawson City
    April 15, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Fresh Coast Film Festival
    Marquette, Michigan
    United States
    October 20, 2017
  • Ottawa Adventure Film Festival
    November 18, 2017
    Environmental Spirit Award
  • Brescia Winter Film
    December 7, 2017
  • Wild and Scenic Film Festival
    Nevada City
    United States
    January 12, 2018
    Best of the Festival World Tour Selection
  • Wasatch Mountain Film Festival
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    United States
    April 4, 2018
    Official Selection
  • North by North Festival
    Anchorage, Alaska
    United States
    April 29, 2018
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Kelly Milner

Kelly Milner started her career as a journalist, but got lost in the wilderness of wildlife management and spent the past 20 years working with communities and governments to implement northern land claim agreements. She has a cabin in Carcross, where, after watching the town’s transformation, was inspired to tell its story. SHIFT is her first film and it brings together her experience working with First Nation communities and her unique northern perspective with her visual storytelling roots. In 2015 she established her own media production company, Shot in the Dark Productions (

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Director Statement

I am a Yukoner. I grew up here and the land is in my blood. So in 1996, after finishing an undergraduate in Journalism, I headed back home to work in the northern television industry. It was a historic time in the Yukon. First Nations had just started settling land claim agreements and the whole structure for how the territory was going to work and engage with the new First Nation governments was a blank page with unlimited opportunity. I remember an elder talking about what the settlement of land claims meant to them. He said, “It’s not about walking down the path one behind the other any more, but walking side by side together.”

That’s what SHIFT is about.

My husband and I bought a piece of property in Carcross at the base of the trail system on Montana Mountain about five years ago. Every morning I’d see the kids from the trail crew heading off to work with their gear and I was impressed by their enthusiasm and dedication to what I know is a tough job. Over time I got to know the kids and saw what trail building program and mountain biking in general was doing for them, their community, and the Yukon as a whole, and kept saying, “someone needs to tell this story...” Finally one of my old friends from journalism school said, “why don’t you do it?” It felt like a dare and it started a ball rolling on SHIFT.

This film is more than a bike movie. It’s about how land claim agreements are empowering First Nations and what one First Nation has done with that opportunity. It’s also a film about change – and change is hard. But change is also inevitable and SHIFT is about the benefits of being an active participant in the change around you. It’s also a film about hope – and hope can be powerful. But at its core, SHIFT is a film about mountain biking because mountain biking…well…it’s just a lot of fun.

I’m proud of the fact that SHIFT is a full Yukon production. Sometimes we get the feeling that we are such a small place that we can’t do things as well as people from “outside”. Yukoners had a hand in every part of SHIFT: from the filming, to the original soundtrack, to the colour correct and animations. I think it demonstrates what we – as small and remote as we are – can do and why it is so important to tell our own stories through a northern lens.

I hope SHIFT makes a difference. I wanted to tell this story in a way that gave the kids on the trail crew a voice and an opportunity to show why the work they do is so important to them. It’s to tell the story to inspire people from outside of the Yukon – but it is also a film for the Carcross community as not everyone understands what the trail crew is doing up on the mountain all day. The First Nation still struggles internally with the idea of building bike trails on their land and every year there is uncertainty around the program. My hope is that this film will help make things easier for the kids on the crew and the people behind the scenes trying to make it happen. And I hope it inspires a few mountain bikers to make the trip up to Carcross and check out the world-class trails these kids have built.