Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor
2022 Winner | A feature film, written, and shot in Nova Scotia. This film was created by a Nova Scotian screenwriter/director, producer, cast and crew. Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor is a family drama that tells the story of a young trans woman who returns to her rural Nova Scotia home after the death of her mother, to make peace with her estranged father. As the two work to restore an antique tractor, they rebuild their relationship, coming – with many around them – to a deeper understanding of the value of family and community in providing safety and respect for marginalized individuals.
Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor provides a great depiction of what it is like to be a trans Nova Scotian. A deep Nova Scotian connection is felt through all of the Nova Scotian content in this film. One example is the music in this film, it helps establish a strong and genuine Nova Scotian presence in the film. Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor did an excellent job of telling a personal story through film.
From the 2022 Masterworks jury:
“Dawn, Her Dad and the Tractor is a Masterwork in every sense of the word. Not only does the film and its sensitivity to its subject matter represent Thompson’s talent as a filmmaker but it is also celebrates the richness of Nova Scotia and its artistic community.”
Buhagiar began her career as an actor during the Toronto New
Wave starring in films like the international hits Roadkill and Highway 61. Her
first outing as a writer-director-producer was the short film The Passion of
Rita Camilleri that was in competition in Locarno, won a Best Short award at
the Chicago International Film Festival and several other international awards.
Her two previous features are 2014’s The Anniversary and 2018’s It’s Hard To Be
Human have both won several awards and have worldwide distribution. She has
been honoured for her work with a retrospective at Karlovy Vary. Carmen, (2021,
shot in Malta) is Buhagiar’s 3rd feature film as writer/director, was in
competition at Whistler for the Borsos prize (which it won for Best
In addition to his background in the museum setting, he has taught courses at the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University, and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.