BackTrack Boys: A group of troubled boys are on a perilous course towards jail until they meet up with the rough talking, free-wheeling jackaroo, Bernie Shakeshaft, and hit the road with his legendary dog jumping team.
This observational documentary, filmed over two years, follows boys in a youth program that Bernie runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale, a rural town in Australia. On the road, the boys find their voice, make great friendships and the dogs become national champions. But as the boy’s sleep under the stars at night the trauma is never too far away. With their survival and futures at stake they must constantly step up, push themselves, support each other and some days can be hard. This inspiring coming of age story reveals the challenges and triumphs these boys face as they try to find their place in the world, and the dogs that help tame their wild ways.
Why you need to see this film:
Not only is this a great film (winner of the audience award at Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and at the Stronger Than Fiction Film Festival, Canberra) but it is a timely reminder about the forgotten youths in our society. For teenagers in Armidale, when it seems that everything has failed them there is BackTrack - "With the economic and social decline in rural Australia more young people are falling through the cracks. Disillusioned and neglected many of them drop out of school and get caught up with drugs and crime. When everyone else gives up on these teenage kids in Armidale, NSW, they head to BackTrack. It’s a place where they can feel safe, continue their education, get trained in welding and other job skills, but most importantly it’s where they learn to support each other and pursue their hopes and dreams."
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