Catherine Scott’s Backtrack Boys, which examines a youth program run by rule-breaking jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft on the outskirts of Armidale NSW, was voted the top feature documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Backtrack is the program run out of Shakeshaft’s shed, a place for troubled kids to safely continue their education while learning trust, support for one another and to have faith in a world that has forgotten them.
When Shakeshaft recruits Zach, Alfie and Rusty to join him on a cross-country journey with his famed dog-jumping team, it’s the last chance for the three boys to halt a quick journey to jail and prove to the world that they are more than just delinquents with no future.
Supported by Screen Australia, the Documentary Australia Foundation and Create NSW, the film is being distributed by Umbrella Entertainment.
Two other Aussie feature docs ranked at No. 2 and 3: Jessica Leski’s I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story and Sue Thomson’s The Coming Back Out Ball Movie.
The audience award for best narrative feature went to Nadine Labaki’s Capharnaum, a neorealist fable which centres on a child attempting to divorce his parents.
Mark Grentell’s The Merger was the fourth most popular feature, a great effort for an Aussie film, which opens in cinemas on September 6.
MIFF 2018 Top 10 Narrative Feature Films
2 An Elephant Sitting Still
4 The Merger
5 Woman at War
6 The Guilty
8 Wajib – The Wedding Invitation
9 The Rider
10 The Tale
MIFF 2018 Top 10 Feature Documentaries
1 Backtrack Boys
2 I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story
3 The Coming Back Out Ball Movie
4 The Dawn Wall
5 Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley
6 United Skates
7 Happy Sad Man
8 Pick of the Litter
9 MATANGI / Maya / M.I.A.
10 Working Class Boy