|*Coarse Language. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and voices of people who have died*
Three Boys Dreaming follows three Indigenous boys over four years as they chase the dream of becoming professional AFL footballers. At stake is fame, prestige and a starting salary of $150,000 a year.
The film begins with the inaugural 'Kickstart Camp' in Melbourne in 2005. The cream of young Indigenous players from around Australia are brought together for a week-long talent camp where they get a sometimes brutal taste of what it takes to become an AFL star.
Among the boys is Daniel Jago, a good-natured 15 year old from Smithton in the remote north west of Tasmania. It is his first trip to Melbourne and the first time he's been on a plane. He has silky skills combined with a robust attack at the ball. His simple, understated ambition is to play AFL footy and "maybe get married and have a few kiddies".
Daen Lomas, an Indigenous boy from Sydney's west also demands attention. Of all the boys at the camp his cheeky confidence and mischievous grin stand out. He has the skills and the ambition, but against him is a difficult family life with an absent father battling heroin addiction.
The dark horse is Perth boy Chris Yarran. He is so shy he barely says a word, even to other boys at camp. His father is serving a lengthy prison sentence and perhaps it is this, or some other sense of insecurity, that keeps him hiding under the peak of his cap. But when he plays footy, he comes alive.
It is these three boys whose stories and dreams we follow during key events over the next four years. It is the boys' emotional journey that is most captivating. One boy grapples with the death of his father and faces criminal charges for an assault. Another is beset with a more common affliction - lack of ambition and an unwillingness to do the hard work required to succeed. The third boy has a steely determination, makes it all the way into the AFL and is recruited by the famous Carlton Football Club. He kicks a goal in his very first senior game.
Watch out for the AFL Indigenous All Stars vs Richmond Tigers match live (AEDT) from Darwin's Marara Oval on Saturday, February 5th at 8.30pm on ABC1.
Cordell Jigsaw Productions. Producer / Director: Michael Cordell.