Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a filmmaker, writer, and actor based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) from the Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve) as well as Sámi from northern Norway. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of British Columbia in First Nations Studies with a Minor in Women's and Gender Studies.
Tailfeathers was the 2018 Sundance Institute Merata Mita Film Fellow and is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Lab, the Hot Docs Accelerator Lab, the CFC/NFB/Ford Foundation Open Immersion Virtual Reality Lab, the Whistler Film Festival Aboriginal Film Fellowship, and the International Sámi Film Institute Indigenous Film Fellowship. Her short documentary, Bihttoš, was included in the TIFF Top Ten Canadian Shorts and was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and a Leo Award for Best Short Documentary.
Tailfeathers received a Canadian Screen Award, a UBCP/ACTRA VWIFF Award, and was nominated for a Leo Award and an American Indian Motion Picture Award for her performance in On the Farm. Her narrative feature-length directorial debut, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, co-written and co-directed with Kathleen Hepburn, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Generation Program and was given the honourable mention for Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open was also named the Best BC Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival where Tailfeathers was also presented with the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award.
She is currently directing a feature-length documentary about the opiate crisis in her home community of Kainai with the support of the National Film Board of Canada as well as the Hot Docs Cross Currents Fund. She also appears on-screen in Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum which premiered at TIFF 2019.