Nick Batzias, John Battsek co-produce feature doc on a Sydney Swans legend
Former AFL star and passionate advocate for Indigenous causes Adam Goodes is the subject of two documentaries.
A UK/Australian co-production, The Australian Dream is a feature-length doc directed by Brit Daniel Gordon.
Meanwhile filmmaker and philanthropist Ian Darling is making a one-hour film for TV and a 37-minute film intended primarily for the educational market with the working title It Stops With Me, with Goodes’ approval.
Passion Pictures’ John Battsek and Nick Batzias of Good Thing Productions are co-producing The Australian Dream after securing the rights to Goodes’ life story.
Gordon’s credits include the docs George Best: All By Himself; Hillsborough, an account of of Britain’s worst sporting disaster, in which 96 men, women and children were killed; and Don’t Look Down, which followed Richard Branson’s attempts to break world records flying in a hot air balloon
Madman Entertainment will distribute in Australia/New Zealand. “The Australian Dream has momentum; the production team have been researching the material for an extended period,” Madman MD Paul Wiegard tells IF.
The former Sydney Swans star and 2014 Australian of the Year was racially vilified during a match by a young girl. Later he was infamously booed by crowds after performing his tribal dance at the SCG during the AFL’s Indigenous round.
As Fairfax Media’s Caroline Wilson reported at the weekend, the AFL was widely criticised for its tardy response.
Goodes courageously became the ambassador for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism: It Stops With Me campaign.
Darling’s film will chronicle Goodes’ life and the national conversation that took place over this period, culled from archival footage and newspaper, TV and radio stories.
“Both projects are approaching the story differently and there will be room for both in the Australian and international markets,” Darling tells IF.
Goodes is now CEO of Indigenous Defence Consortium (IDC), whose mission is to break the back of poverty of Indigenous communities by developing Indigenous entrepreneurs and growing sustainable businesses.
Batzias produced Damon Gameau’s That Sugar Film, Gameau’s upcoming futuristic sci-fi documentary 2040 (executive produced by Darling), All for One, Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy and A Month of Sundays for Madman Production Company.
Battsek’s credits include Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars; Five Came Back, which examined five Hollywood filmmakers who left during WW2; and The Final Year, which followed senior members of outgoing US President Barack Obama’s administration.