Into Light

Into Light

When a child reveals who they truly are on the inside, how does a parent set aside their own expectations to help them become their most authentic self? Set against the crystalline Northern landscape of Yellowknife, Sheona McDonald’s new documentary, Into Light, captures a season of change as a mother and child navigate the complexities of gender identity together.

The film offers one family’s unique perspective on learning how to accept, honour and support one another during a time of intimate personal growth and transition. Seemingly simple items—a sparkly silver dress, hair barrettes—lead to a more complex navigation of name and gender markers. 

Elemental changes—winter into spring, darkness into light—parallel this extraordinary journey. The return of brighter days uncovers a confident and social little girl with an encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs, a deep love of animals, and a parent who fully embraces this magical person.

Festival Note

Sheona McDonald is also the director of the feature-length documentary Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery, about the death of Gerald Cotten, founder of the QuadrigaCX Cryptocurrency exchange, which has also been selected for the 2022 Belleville Downtown Docfest.

Awards and Nominations

Seattle Queer Film Festival, United States (2021), Jury Award for Best Short Film
DocsMX – Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de la Ciudad de México, Mexico 2021, Jury Award in the Fragments category


Sheona McDonald



Film Details

2020, 19 min