Little Drummer Boy

A story about youth, homelessness, gentrification, and a little bit of love...

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Development
Director/Writer/Producer: Ellis J. Sutton
Producer/Assistant Director: Tom Muhl
Director of Photography: Yorgos Tzoytzoyakos
Production Designer: Lizeth Salgado
Composer: Stevie Thompson
Help independent filmmakers tell their stories.
Make a donation to Little Drummer Boy today.

Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists. Donate today and help bring Little Drummer Boy to life.


A homeless drummer boy, who romanticizes over a neighborhood girl, fights the path of a changing, gentrifying city in his attempt to show his affection.


Keon, a homeless boy who is very skilled at street drumming, learns his friend Maria is moving away due to her father being priced out of the neighborhood. Keon decides to raise enough money with his drumming to buy her an expensive gift and get it to her before she moves away.

Make a donation to Little Drummer Boy.


Meet the Filmmakers

Ellis Sutton – Director/Writer/Producer

Ellis is a recent graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a BA in Cinema and Media Studies. Ellis is also the founder of his own production company: All of a Sutton Productions. Through his company banner, he has produced and directed about two short films and two music videos while in film school. Ellis’ most recent short film, Krystal & Rae, has received multiple awards from online festivals which include winners of Best Child Actress, Best Acting Duo (Honorable Mention), and Best Children Short (Honorable Mention). Ellis prides himself on projects focusing on people of color, and hopes to direct and produce feature-length films.

Thomas Muhl – Producer/Assistant Director

Tom is a senior majoring in Cinema and Media Studies and minoring in Screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He has worked on documentary and feature productions in multiple languages and countries including as a PA on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (2020). This is Tom’s second time working as a 1st AD on a Film Independent Artist Development project, having assistant directed Swearing (2020). In the future, Tom is looking to write, direct, and produce projects globally and create powerful and inclusive content in multiple languages.

Yorgos Tzoytzoyakos – Director of Photography

Yorgos is a current student of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. He has held an affinity for cinematography for years, with a particular interest in films dealing with childhood, friendship, and the working class. He has served as Director of Photography on multiple music videos, commercials, and short films, several of which have won awards throughout various festivals. Yorgos is set to graduate in spring 2021, and hopes to work as a Director of Photography on independent films that evoke a sense of realism through their visual style.

Lizeth Salgado – Production Designer

Lizeth is a senior studying Production and Cinematography at San Diego State University. She has worked on multiple student films and music videos since high school. Lizeth’s love for music videos allows her to create colorful and lively sets. Lizeth likes to work on films that have to do with Latino culture and period pieces. Retro fashion, old films, and music influence her aesthetic. After she graduates, Lizeth would like to move to Los Angeles to work on television shows.

Stevie Thompson, Jr. – Composer

Stevie is a filmmaker and composer based in Chicago, IL. He graduated from NC State with a degree in Business Administration and minor in Industrial Engineering in December 2018. In college, he formed a hip-hop group called Symplicity Productions which later became an LLC focusing on film and music production. After graduation, he became an engineer and immediately began pursuing his dream of becoming a film score composer by co-producing and scoring his own project, produced under Symplicity Productions, LLC. His first film Kelser was born out of the experiences himself, friends and co-founders had in college. The film is currently on a 6 city premiere tour and some of its successes include: Silver medal at Global Music Awards for Original Score & Soundtrack, best Sci-Fi feature at the Longleaf film festival and semi-finalist for the Dumbo Film Festival. Today, Stevie is working on various indie projects and hopes to continue to expand his creativity and tell stories through the art of his filmmaking and scoring.

Make a donation to Little Drummer Boy.


For inquiries, please contact