Congratulations to Nova Scotia’s own Shelley Thompson as her debut feature film DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR will celebrate its world premiere at the Inside Out Film Festival as a Spotlight on Canada Special Selection. Inside Out’s 31st Annual Festival will be streaming OnLine – which means folks in Ontario can stream this heartwarming film from May 27th through to June 6th. You can access their box office here.
No official word on when we friends and fans can see DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR here on the East Coast – but we’ve got our fingers crossed it will screen as part of the 2021 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival this September. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on that as we’re looking forward to catching up with Ms.Thompson for a full-on feature episode of SEA AND BE SCENE… And HEARD around that time too. Stay tuned and in the meantime, you can watch my Red Carpet chat with Shelley before the FIN Festival premiere of her award-winning performance in THE CHILD REMAINS at the bottom of this post. What follows is the official press release on her debut feature here…
Canadian director Shelley Thompson’s debut feature film DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR will make its world premiere at the Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto, May 27 – June 6, 2021.
Produced by Terry Greenlaw of Picture Plant and shot in Nova Scotia in the summer of 2020, DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR was one of twelve projects invited to the NY Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep/Nicole Kidman) and one of ten international scripts invited to Cannes for the Breaking Through The Lens initiative in 2019. The film will be available on CRAVE in 2022.
Award-winning performer, veteran of THE TRAILER PARK BOYS, and champion of LGBTQ issues, Shelley Thompson trained at the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Canadian Film Centre (2015), and was one of the eight selected from across Canada for the Women In the Director’s Chair program (2016-17). She is also the recipient of the 2018 WIDC Feature Film Award which supported the production of DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR Thompson’s short films have played festivals around the world. PEARLS, about a trans teenager, was the short prequel to DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR. Her short DUCK DUCK GOOSE (2018), addressing the impact of school lockdowns, was selected by Telefilm Canada for the Not Short on Talent program at Clermont-Ferrand.
Thompson has performed leading roles on the stage across Canada and the UK including at the Shaw Festival, UK’s Royal National Theatre and the West End. Notable TV and film performances include LABYRINTH, an award-winning performance in Michael Melski’s THE CHILD REMAINS and Thom Fitzgerald’s SPLINTERS (TIFF 2018).
When a young woman with a startling resemblance to her mother arrives home for her mother’s funeral, one family begins an odyssey toward understanding. Dawn returns home to Nova Scotia to mourn the death of her mother and repair the estrangement with her father, John Andrew. An ancient tractor becomes the focus for the mechanically-minded Dawn, but her father’s long-simmering resentments heighten tensions. Watching his daughter work to restore the tractor, he realizes that reclaiming this relationship depends on his own coming out: supporting Dawn publicly and fighting malicious small-town transphobia. Shelley Thompson’s feature directorial debut follows a father and daughter as they cautiously rebuild their relationship and come to understand the mechanics of the heart.
Maya V. Henry