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Development   /  Luke Graham


A father and son documentary about NZ's greatest Rugby League player… ever.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Luke Graham

  • PRODUCER Jonathan Page



Widely regarded one of the greatest Rugby League players ever, kiwi hard-man Mark Graham was feared off and on the field, though little knew the real man or the destruction behind his success. SHARKO, portrays an intimate look at the life of a father, a son and the cost of greatness.

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The film looks at the effect of parents on their children and the emotional destruction we do to those who love us the most. We examine our Australian culture where men are raised to be hyper-masculine and un-expressive and the importance of sport, how it defines us as a nation.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Sharko aims break generational moulds through self-discovery, accepting the past, and embracing the future. It looks at the effect of parents on their children and the emotional destruction we do to those who love us the most. Our Australian culture where men are raised to be hyper-masculine, unexpressive and the importance of sport, how it defines us as a nation.

Sharko aims to bring awareness and support for men’s mental health issues as we progress through an ever-changing world.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short term goals include an attitude shift in the way masculinity in perceived, increased knowledge, understanding and awareness of men's mental health issues and generational family patterns.

Medium-term outcomes include schools implementing new policies around male mental health, education opportunities for sporting and other groups and improved infrastructure or support mechanisms for current organisations.

Long-term outcomes include reduced suicide numbers in male youth and adults and improved mental health education and support.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

At present we have the support rugby league organisations including:
- New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) including all regional clubs
- North Sydney Bears including their members and juniors
- New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL)

Councils will be contacted with the planned screenings/workshops. Gladstone Regional Council is the first contacted and will be building a strategy for both production and screenings within its region will local groups.

We are also have Movember as our mental health Partner.

The producers will continue to develop opportunities for community awareness.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope that our audience will:
- Start a conversation about Australian masculinity and its role
- Change the viewed behaviour around men's mental health
- Hosting their own screenings inviting local community groups
- Sign up to our mental health campaign
- Support campaign through social media, community and councils

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will know when we have achieved our impact vision when:
- Started a national & international conversation on men's mental health
- Seen institutional change in community, schools and sports groups
- We have screened to 65% of rugby league clubs in both QLD & NSW including regional and remote locations.
- Audience participation in targeted mental health campaigns