Cover image by Jake Ivany
Set on a Nova Scotia dairy farm, John Andrew has just lost his wife Miranda to cancer. When a young woman with a startling resemblance to Miranda appears on his porch, an odyssey towards understanding begins. John Andrew’s estranged son Donald is now Dawn, and she’s come home to mourn her mother and keep her promise to repair her relationship with her Dad. Restoring the tractor her mother learned to drive on becomes a focus for the mechanically minded Dawn. John Andrew begins to realize that if he’s to reclaim this relationship, he has to come out with Dawn, and what better setting than the community tractor trials — an event Miranda created as a tireless village volunteer — where he proudly cheers for his daughter Dawn, as she enters the arena at the wheel of the lovingly restored tractor.
as Dawn MacGinnis
as John Andrew MacGinnis
as Tammy MacGinnis
as Byron Thomas
"If you have the chance to go see it, I highly recommend it. Great performances from the entire cast. I fully expected to cry throughout this film, but instead I was left with a feeling of warmth. Great job from Shelley Thompson and all! Looking forward to seeing what @mayavhenry does next."
"I watched Dawn and loved it. Not many movies make me well up and get that emotional. It's a beautiful and important film."
"Thank you for this wonderful movie! I loved seeing a trans-positive story for once in theatres. It's such an affirming experience."
"I watched this with my teacher and I gotta say it was the most amazing movie ever I have never connected with someone so much till now"
"Dawn... is a must see! Well done Shelley and all."
"So very proud to have been a part of this awesome project."
"Such a wonderful story told by incredible actors. The soundtrack was amazing."
"This film was so raw and touching. I want to watch it over and over again! Thank you so much for working so hard to bring this to life."
"I just heard the 4-H motto I haven’t thought about for years - I was in 4-H - and now am joyously crying. God what a good film."
"Such a great film. We screened it at our Monday Night at the Arts at The Vernon Towne Theatre and had a very positive response from our audience."
"…my eyes started watering 5 minutes in…and I went between happy chuckles, moist eyes and tears for the remaining 1.26.30. The story resonated so well: Maya you were amazing, as was the rest of the cast. Then the sound track on top – it was storytelling at its finest."
"I am less than one year into transition…I am pretty much as in the closet as you can get whilst self acknowledging. I told myself the next time I go home I will go home as me. The story of Dawn – that gives me hope that maybe it won’t be so bad. It still terrifies me – they are my only family – but this is the story I never knew I needed to see."
Heartwarming script, beautifully acted and directed. Bravo to all involved!
"I watched Dawn and loved it. Not many movies make me well up and get that emotional. It's a beautiful and important film … the buzz is just getting started. Thank you so much for reaching out to me all those years ago and asking me to be a part of the film."
"It’s an impressive feature film debut for Nova Scotian Shelley Thompson."
"I kinda wish this was a series rather than a film and this is just the end of season 1… I didn't want the story to end, I want to see the next chapter. "
"This film is a gateway to introducing friends, family, anyone, to trans people and to the simple fact that trans people have always been who they are; best put in the words of Dawn, 'I wasn’t ‘someone else’. "
"…. I’m in no way qualified or attempting to be a movie critic haha, instead I just wanted to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for everything this movie means for advancing trans acceptance in rural Canada."
"I watched with such pleasure your warm and lovely film last evening. I loved how you fleshed out the story to include the sister and fiancé, and how those relationships resonated and enriched the dad/daughter conflict and love."
"You captured the complexity of that family so successfully, I thought. No easy answers, such well observed scenes of discomfort and tension, but leavened with tons of love. The film looks gorgeous. Made me ache to come back to Nova Scotia and Antigonish. Beautiful songs."
"Maya V Henry is very impressive as DAWN"
" WOW! DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR is a touching, beautifully realized film about coming to terms with change and new connections - The enchanting images of the regions’s beauty made me long and dream for the shores and rural countryside of Nova Scotia. You captured so many magical moments of the local landscape. I could almost feel and smell those mornings. Well done all!"
"The production values were rich and sumptuous and I could have lingered on Maya for hours afterwards. What a shining light and solid presence she has on film - the centre glowing ember from which everything else emanated from in the film. How lucky you were to find her to cast as Dawn."
"Thank you Shelley, for your passion and talented ability to tell such important stories. Now, - may we only see more from your directorial presence please. Good luck with distribution. I will be shouting its praises!"
"Loved this beautiful, touching film."
"I just watched the film, and want to congratulate you all on making one of the most beautiful films on this issue I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. It was so emotional, raw, real and all components fit so perfectly together! Amazing work!"
"Love the movie - it made me cry and think more about my road of my change as a transgender woman."
"DHD&TT is a passionate plea for tolerance."
"Amazing film!!!! Congratulations to all of you. It exceeded my expectations, (I just expected it to be very good) and was so beautiful, raw and one of the most incredible films I have ever seen on these issues. Speechless."
"I've seen this movie twice now, and I always get very emotional watching it. That has never happened with any other movie."
"…A Queer film that really wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s a charming debut and the ending will leave you smiling I’m sure!"
"The film has a big heart and it’s in the right place."