Book a BackTrack Boys film screening and help kids doing it tough

ON THE ROAD: Bernie Shakeshaft and Rusty, one of the boys in the program. Picture: Paul Shakeshaft
ON THE ROAD: Bernie Shakeshaft and Rusty, one of the boys in the program. Picture: Paul Shakeshaft

HERE'S a chance to organise your own screening of an acclaimed Australian film - and raise awareness of a program that aims to keep teenage boys alive, out of jail, and doing something productive with their lives.

The makers of the BackTrack Boys documentary have teamed up with FanForce, an online cinema-on-demand service, to help people organise and promote screenings of the film in their towns. 

All that's required is to gather a set number of friends and community members to buy tickets. FanForce will take care of the rest. 

BackTrack Boys was released at film festivals and in cinemas late last year.

LIFE LESSONS: Talking around the campfire. Picture: Clayton Rose

LIFE LESSONS: Talking around the campfire. Picture: Clayton Rose

Directed by Catherine Scott, the documentary features the free-wheeling jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft, and the program, BackTrack Youth Works, he runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale, in the New England area of NSW.

Filmed over two years, it follows a group of boys as they hit the road with Bernie’s legendary dog jumping team and travel across the country.

Through its moving, observational style, the film reveals the challenges the boys face as they try to find their place in the world and how the dogs come to tame the boys' wild ways.

TEACHERS: Working with the dog jumping team helps the boys find their place in the world. Picture: Clayton Rose

TEACHERS: Working with the dog jumping team helps the boys find their place in the world. Picture: Clayton Rose

“I hope this film will foster a greater understanding of the issues these kids face and inspire communities to develop real alternatives to help keep them out of jail,” Scott said.

Having scooped audience awards at the Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Byron Bay Film Festival, the documentary has been in demand across the country.

OBSERVATIONAL STYLE: Director of BackTrack Boys Catherine Scott.

OBSERVATIONAL STYLE: Director of BackTrack Boys Catherine Scott.

Now, through the FanForce service, communities can arrange their own screenings, to help raise awareness of the BackTrack program. The screenings can be used as fundraisers, too.

“Communities can use this film to bring together senior decision-makers, the police, education and service providers, youth organisations and young people in their towns to start a discussion and collaborate in creating locally driven solutions,” Impact producer Lisa Hancock said.

“It’s not just a movie, it’s a movement.”

To book a screening, visit http://bit.ly/backtracknew.

For more information on the film, visit www.backtrackboys.com.