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News & Reviews


National Post

Chris Knight – Film Review

“From its locally sourced soundtrack and gorgeous scenery to its winning characters, this is a sweet bit of Canadiana with a lovely message of tolerance..”


Brian Buckley – Arts Reviews

“Writer/director Shelley Thompson has created a dramatic arc that leads its characters from fear and ignorance to acknowledgement and self-awareness and that pulls the viewer into this bleak but beautiful landscape.”



Tom Mcscorely – Film Review, Ottawa
“A sensitive family drama with a big heart… a passionate plea for tolerance.”

Parker & The picture shows

“A delightful ensemble with a Huge Heart.”


‘Dawn, Her Dad and The Tractor is the perfect family film, it has something for everyone’


7/10 – ‘Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor turns a drama about transitioning and grief into a sweet, big-hearted affair. It touches upon the harsher sides of life as a trans person but also doesn’t let it take over, remaining at its core a story about family.’

A flaw in the iris

“A heartfelt homecoming.”

What she said

“The family’s transformation is the heart of the story and then community, and love of all kinds.”


Hollywood North Magazine
Talent on Tap – Dawn, Her Dad & The Tractor performs a victory lap.


Thank you to all who have reached out with your heartfelt stories and thoughtful feedback. 
From Aaron
My son recently told us that he is Trans Man about 3 weeks back and we were very supportive but are still in the beginnings of becoming informed.  Our son is very patient with us as we are learning.  We were so excited to see that your film was coming to our local Astor theatre (we live in Liverpool). None of us were quite sure how we were going to inform my mom who lives with us and we thought seeing your film first would be a great way to get some conversations started.  We saw your film and all cried and cheered Dawn on in the final tractor seen.  Watching the film led to a few long conversations with my mom about transgender issues which today led to a very easy conversation about her grandson’s identity, new name, etc. Thank you and pass on our thanks to the rest of the cast. You made a difference in our family.
From Mabe
I am writing to you just having watched this film with my mom and feeling so blessed to have seen it.

I am so thankful that you created this beautiful work of art for people like me to feel seen and represented. I am a nonbinary transgender queer individual myself who grew up on a beef farm. I was very active as a 4-H member both locally completing over 75 projects and even traveling to Washington DC, Jamaica, and attending the 4-H Global Summit as the Youth Advisory Committee Representative for Ontario.

The way 4-H was represented in this film and as being an important part of rural culture was so beautiful and that alone gave me such a strong representation that I’ve barely ever experienced in cinema, let alone having trans representation being so few and far between but to have both has made me feel so seen and represented. I too have always been very close with my mom and although I have a decent relationship with my father it was hard for him to understand trans people and I also barely ever hear him tell me that he loves me even if he does he seldom if ever takes the time to verbalize it.

I also volunteer at my local sexual assault centre and felt that it was powerful the scene around sexual assault and important. Especially regarding the matter that it’s not trans women who make women’s bathrooms unsafe but that trans women are more susceptible to violence. I also found the queer relationships so beautiful in the film and so important. My queer and trans friendships are sacred to me and my queer mentors I’ve had have been so integral to my life. One of my queer mentors that has been integral to my life was a Facilitator at my 4-H leadership camp.

I have told many people near and dear to me about this incredible film and will continue to do so. Thank you again for your beautiful artistry and powerful representation of rural queer and trans folks.
From Veronica
Hi Shelley, I came to see the Dawn movie tonight. I wanted to talk with you but i was too choked up to.

First, thank you for being an awesome parent to your trans son. In the trans support work i do i see way too many, minors and adults, that are rejected by the their parents, leading some to suicide. I am 55, transitioned nearly 30 years ago. My parents are still hostile. I managed to stop the abusive letters they would write. Its really hard to lose that element from my life despite the nastiness.

The movie told a difficult story with a good dose of humor for which i thank you for finding that balance. Many of the story lines resonated with my experiences including the wash room use which scratches the surface of some of what i have encountered.

Thank you for putting it out there and putting a collective of experience into telling an important narrative that many of us still experience just trying to live our authentic lives. You totally rock.
From Theresa
What a beautiful film! So glad to see Shelley Thompson’s Dawn, her Dad and the Tractor on the big screen with my Nova Scotia bestie. The heart, the laughs. the incredible scenery, the luscious score and songs, the honest beautiful performances. Bravo to everyone involved.

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.