ANTIGONISH: After 18 days of shooting in Windsor, Halifax and Chester, the feature film Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor wrapped last week in Antigonish.
Writer and director Shelley Thompson, completed the first Telefilm-funded feature film in Nova Scotia since COVID-19 paused the film industry. The film about a trans woman returning home to her small town was supported by the LGBTQ+ diverse cast and crew across Nova Scotia, which was key to Thompson’s vision.
“While they are transitioning, trans people need the support of family, loved ones and community. This story is meant to reflect that and what we found working in Antigonish is that love and support,” says Thompson. “I hope the love and support we see on screen translates to other communities that need to embrace their LGBTQ+ communities in the way this one has.”
Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor is the emotional story of a young trans woman reuniting with her estranged father. John Andrew MacGinnis (Robb Wells, Trailer Park Boys) is about to bury Miranda, his wife and helpmate on their Nova Scotian farm, who’s died too young of breast cancer. When a beautiful young woman with a startling resemblance to Miranda appears on his porch the day after her death, an odyssey towards understanding begins. John Andrew’s estranged son Donald is now Dawn (Maya Henry, For Nonna Anna), and she’s come home to mourn her mother and keep her promise to repair her relationship with her dad.
“On behalf of the cast and crew, I would like to thank the communities that supported the film and hosted the production. There are many local organizations and people who deserve thanks,” says Terry Greenlaw, producer. “We extend our warmest gratitude to the towns, counties, shops and services that have helped us along the way.”
Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor was awarded the 2018 WIDC Feature Film Award; selected in 2018 by the NYC Writers Lab (Meryl Streep/Nicole Kidman); is one of 10 international scripts selected by the Breaking Through the Lens UK and Cannes 2019; and script development was supported by the Canada Council, Nova Scotia Communities Culture and Heritage, the Harold Greenberg Fund and Telefilm Canada.
Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor will stream on Crave in 2021.