Goodes documentary picked up in UK

A documentary about Adam Goodes' fight against racism is set for UK theatrical release.
A documentary about Adam Goodes' fight against racism is set for UK theatrical release.

The acclaimed feature documentary about indigenous Australian Rules player Adam Goodes will be released in UK movie theatres next year following its local premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.

With racism in sports now front-page news in Britain, film distributor Dogwoof has secured all UK rights to The Australian Dream, the documentary about how Goodes took on racism.

Goodes twice won the Brownlow Medal, awarded to the fairest and best AFL player, and was named Australian of the Year in 2014.

Having spoken out about racism, he faced hostility from booing fans inside stadiums while playing and from some sections of the media. He quietly retired in 2015.

Daniel Gordon ("Hillsborough") directed the film, which was written by journalist Stan Grant.

It traces Goodes' his meteoric rise in football through to his bowing out of the sport. Goodes is interviewed, and the film features archive footage.

It also has testimony from the athlete's friends and family, sports commentators, and other AFL players.

The documentary won the Audience Award at the Melbourne Film Festival before playing at the Telluride, Toronto and London film festivals.

The deal comes days after a soccer match between Bulgaria and England that had to be twice halted after Bulgarian supporters racially abused England's black players.

Dogwoof's head of acquisitions and distribution Oli Harbottle said the film "not only highlights the ongoing global problem of racial abuse in sport but also how we can confront this when we unite and rally around those who are subject to it".

"In light of recent events closer to home, The Australian Dream feels particularly urgent in its message," Harbottle said.

The film's producers Sarah Thomson and John Battsek said the reaction has been overwhelming across the board.

Australian Associated Press