Private Project

Monster Slayer

As young people begin to mysteriously disappear on the Navajo Nation, twin teenagers Shondiin and Nathan Yazzie load into the family pickup truck and venture into the wilderness with their medicine-man grandfather Cowboy and metalhead uncle Fitz. There they discover monsters being summoned by the mysterious Coyote, and a link to Monster Slayer, a legendary figure in Navajo tradition.

Monster Slayer is a short film shot on location near Gallup, New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation. The film features stop-motion animated monsters in the style of Ray Harryhausen, created with the support of the National Film Board of Canada and the Toronto Animated Image Society.

  • Kjell Boersma
  • Denny Spencer
  • Shane Van Pelt
  • Kjell Boersma
  • Nicole Garcia
  • Carrie House
  • Kjell Boersma
  • Renaldo Benally
  • Shonto Begay
    Key Cast
  • Kenton Kaulaity
    Key Cast
  • Romeo Touchine
    Key Cast
  • Shelby Daizy
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, fantasy, native american
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Gallup Film Festival
    United States
    September 18, 2016
    North American Premiere
    Audience Choice Award: Best Short, Best Language Preservation Film
  • LA Skins Fest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    November 19, 2016
    Achievement in Short Filmmaking
  • Durango Independent Film Festival
    United States
    March 2, 2017
  • Santa Fe Film Festival
    Santa Fe
    United States
    December 10, 2016
  • Flagstaff Film Festival
    United States
    February 16, 2017
  • Phoenix Comicon Film Festival
    United States
    May 26, 2017
  • California's American Indian and Indigenous Film Festival
    San Marcos
    United States
    November 17, 2016
Distribution Information
  • Gravitas Ventures
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Kjell Boersma

Kjell Boersma originally hails from deep in the woodlands of South River, Ontario, where, as a child, he could often be found cavorting in streams and ponds with wild animals. As a graduate of Ryerson University's Film Studies program, Kjell has since worked on broadcast animation and feature documentaries, as well as a plethora of music videos, experimental modern dance films, and more commercial endeavours. In 2010 he abandoned Toronto for the desolate wastes of New Mexico, settling in Gallup: a small but bustling frontier town on the border of the Navajo Nation. While in Gallup, Kjell collaborated with National Geographic Photographer Adriel Heisey, shooting aerial video for the United States National Park Service, as well as a number of archaeologists, environmentalists, and documentary filmmakers. Over the next four years, Kjell worked with local artists and cultural organizations to co-found the arts council gallupARTS, and he directed ​the short film, Monster Slayer, a contemporary retelling of the Navajo story of the Hero Twins. ​After moving back to Toronto, ​Kjell ​was selected to write and direct the first short film to be jointly commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and TIFF Kids. DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver is currently in production, and will premiere at the TSO in February 2017. Kjell now lives​ in Toronto​ with two cats and one human.

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