The inspiring true story of a destitute family finding joy in Christmas giving. When their father enters the state mental asylum in 1920s rural Colorado, the Elder Family is left without means to provide for themselves. Facing a bleak winter, the two young brothers Ivon and Alvon beg for scrap lumber and leftover paint from benevolent neighbors. Using their young imaginations and long hours of work, they ensure their baby sister Dottie has toys for Christmas. Based on the true story of the filmmaker's ancestors.

  • Pam and Caleb Harris
  • Pam and Caleb Harris and Linda Harris
  • Cufflinks Family
  • The Harris Family and Friends
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 23, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • YouTube
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet
Director Biography - Pam and Caleb Harris

The Harris Family decided to make Dottie as a fun family activity that connected us with each other and our ancestors. We enjoy telling family stories, so we invented a game called "Cufflinks Challenge: Off-the-cuff stories that link people together." The game encourages people to tell their stories and connect with their family and friends. Look for it soon on Kickstarter. We plan to make more videos as time permits and share them on YouTube under Cufflinks Family.

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Director Statement

Dottie is a film about our ancestors. Researching our family's story and reenacting their experience was a labor of love that was life-changing. We wrote or arranged and recorded all the music. We filmed Dottie on a zero budget. It took us over 2 years as we learned film-making techniques. We are indebted to over 100 volunteers who helped us make this film a reality.