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Development   /  Ivan O'Mahoney

Unbreakable – The Jelena Dokic Story

Tennis star Jelena Dokic survived war, bullying and extreme violence by her father Damir Dokic. This is her story.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

WOMEN & GIRLS

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Wayne Blair

  • PRODUCER Ivan O'Mahoney

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

UNBREAKABLE is not just a tennis story. It’s the story of Jelena Dokic’s survival, of her overcoming extraordinary odds, and of her ultimate triumph in the face of poverty, bullying and extreme brutality. It’s about how she survived as a refugee, twice. How she survived on the tennis court as she ascended to become world No.4. But most importantly, how she survived the unimaginable abuse by Damir Dokic, her violent father and manager. The man whose love she craved most. It's a story of growing up - never being alone, but always lonely. Ultimately, it's the story of how the tennis world and a nation of fans chose to look away when Jelena needed them most. The question is...why?

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  • $500,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
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  • March 2020

    PROJECT ENDS
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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Child abuse, especially in elite sports.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

In a sports obsessed country, with close to two million children participating in organized sport outside of school hours, we will raise awareness of the child abuse that sports can cause, condone or encourage. Despite evidence to the contrary, including in tennis, soccer and cricket cases documented by the Child Abuse Royal Commission, most reactions in sports are still that it does not happen, that it’s someone else’s responsibility or that they are isolated incidents. It must change.

Outcomes

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

That authorities across all sports enact better safeguards for children in their ultimate care (amateurs or professionals);
An end to the societal attitude of not interfering in an other’s family's business. If a child is clearly at risk, one must act;
Greater empathy for the athletes who are derided in the media for what is often described as 'difficult' behavior. Jelena’s case shows that there may be much more at play;
There are no uniform reporting standards on child abuse in Australia, varying from state to state, making it extremely hard for academics to do the research needed to advocate for policy change. We would like to see such standards enacted.

Stakeholders

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

We have the support of Tennis Australia and Kate Palmer, CEO of Sports Australia. Tennis Australia are assisting in securing the footage we need to make the film, and may assist in getting the introductions needed in the international and national tennis world to produce the film. We have also secured the support of the World Player’s Association.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

Stop being bystanders
Advocate for children in sports, especially elite child athletes.
Put pressure on politicians and sports bodies to enact change

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

To reach as wide an audience as possible
To start a national and international debate
To see institutional change

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