The creative team have completed the development stage of Sharko, with the support of our partners. Our producers are now in the process of financing the documentary which will move into pre production in early to mid 2021, with the project ready for distribution and film festivals after August 2021.
WHAT IS IT?
SHARKO is a feature-length participatory documentary drama in the tradition of THE IMPOSTER (2012) and STORIES WE TELL (2013) about rugby league legend Mark Graham’s personal and professional life told through the skewed perspective of his filmmaker son, Luke Graham.
Deemed one of the most inspirational and feared footballers to grace the game, SHARKO is a universal story about a failed father, a distant son, generational patterns and family grief. It is also a very Australian story about how men were raised to be hyper-masculine, and the importance of sport, how it defines us as a nation.
Featuring appearances from Graham Lowe, Wayne Bennett, Wally Lewis, family archives and recreations, as well as footage of a career spanning three continents, Sharko will show us how to overcome the past in an honest, humanising and touching portrait about New Zealand’s greatest Rugby League player... ever.
A feature documentary drama about enigmatic Rugby League legend Mark “SHARKO” Graham, and his distant filmmaker son, Luke. In his prime, Mark was the best rugby league player in the world. Known for his size, speed, skill and toughness, he was a predator in a sea of sharks. Mark changed the sport and carried his teams and country to the doorstep of greatness, while remaining a mystery to his biggest fan, his son.
Now in his sixties, Mark works on the Gladstone wharves and is finally ready to make peace with a troubled past. They travel back to New Zealand, where new father himself Luke, learns about his dad’s working-class upbringing, led by a dominating patriarch and the brutal sport which he fell in love with.
Mark’s chance encounter with an upstart coach named Graham Lowe, who together form a special bond and lead their underdog country out of the depths of irrelevance and rise to challenge the world’s best on its largest stage. But for the injuries and personal loss that took him away from the game he loved dearly.
The only Rugby league player to be inducted into both the Australian and New Zealand Halls of Fame, Mark’s experience as an elite sportsman is a far cry from the luxury and celebrity lifestyles modern footballers enjoy currently. His success, and what it required to get to the top and stay there, took an enormous toll on his health and family life.
Mark’s story is told through the in-depth lens and skewed perspective of his film-maker son, with Luke revealing a shared personal history scarred by pain and loss. As he learns more about his father’s past, both the hardships and the glory, he comes to a realisation about the man he idolised above all else.
In the 21st century, notions of masculinity, fatherhood mental health and identity have changed radically from the era Mark grew up and played rugby league in. SHARKO explores what these mean and how generational patterns can change, but only through understanding and reflection.
SHARKO is an intimate portrait of a father, a son & one of New Zealand’s greatest sporting heroes.... ever.
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Luke is an international award-winning filmmaker based regionally in Queensland those goal is to produce content locally for the world market, which inspires audiences and societal change.
He started his career producing films such as Bella, Spoonman and Last Roll of the Dice where his shorts played at over one hundred international festivals and included awards from; Tropfest, Flickerfest, Paris International Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival.
He has also created music videos for some of Australia's leading artists including; Stan Walker, Justice Crew and Guy Sebastian, Illy, Alpine, Hugh Sheridan, Rogue Traders and Shannon Noll.
Luke produced his first micro budget independent feature film in 2010 called Braille. It was sold internationally to Japan, USA and South Africa.
In 2016 Luke created the multi award winning feature film, Broke an international festival gem and one of Australia's theatrical success stories of the year. Broke went onto be one of most profitable rugby league stories made in Australia. It was also distributed in New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada, Germany & South Africa.
Luke produced his first large budget web series in late 2018 for French based production house Rockzeline called Pet Killer. The series was funded by and for Blackpills, the world’s largest web series streaming format and has series has won multiple awards to date.