A feature documentary drama about enigmatic Rugby League legend Mark “SHARKO” Graham, and his 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.
Together, They travel back to New Zealand, where new father himself Luke, learns about his dad’s working-class upbringing and the brutal sport which he fell in love with. Mark’s chance encounter with an young 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.