Dawn, his father and the tractor drive him home | Cultural festivals | Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dawn, her father and the tractor
Available for the duration of the festival via FIN Stream or Sept 17, 7 and 7:30 p.m. at Cineplex Park Lane; tickets here.
Band the time Dawn, her father and the tractor screens at END (during the gala presentation on Friday, September 17), writer-director Shelley Thompson will finally have time to breathe. “We worked on it until the last minute, so it doesn’t feel like it’s done. So it’s all new and fresh – and when I see it, at the film festival, it will really be the first time on a big screen, ”she explains in a phone interview.
To say it’s the critical moment for the first feature film director, whom you may remember from her 13 seasons as an actor in Boys in the trailer park, or to play the stepmother in David Bowie’s Labyrinth– would be an understatement. But don’t confuse that with the story being nothing less than a fully formed film with big ambitions. “I think everyone makes movies to change the world, on some level,” says Thompson. “I have no illusions, but of course I want my film to change the world and I want people to talk and I want people to be kinder and more human and more tolerant of the trans community.”
Thompson is quick to explain that the movie – which follows a newly transferred girl and her ex-father’s attempt to patch up their relationship by doing the same with an old tractor – is really about family and home. It’s a composite inspired by his son’s transition (reportedly Halifax pop singer-songwriter T. Thomason); members of the trans community to whom he introduced her; and the friend of a friend who reconnected with his dying father while repairing a tractor.
The film stars Maya V. Henry, who is also on call, as Dawn. “I have a lot of parallels with Dawn in this movie,” Henry says. “I also come from a small, very rural town, it’s a town called Georgina in Ontario. And growing up, it was hard to be different and stand out, and I felt like there wasn’t always room for my voice and my differences and so, just like Dawn, I felt like there was felt like I had to go to an urban community to find people like me and find my legs to stand on and transition on. This is the first leading role of Henry, a famous YouTuber, in a feature film.
“There are a lot of parallels to going back and reintroducing yourself to friends and family and all that trip, and really humanizing it,” Henry adds when asked what it is. she likes in the movie. She says that Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor shows “that it’s possible to reconnect with people, even after a transition, when you’re very scared and you don’t know how they’re going to react, right? not ? I think it’s really important to share this side of the story.