With support from Screen Australia, NITV has commissioned NRL feature documentary The Fight Together, directed by Larissa Behrendt and produced by Sam Griffin for EQ Media. The film will document how a group of NRL greats came together to invent a new pre-game ceremony in response to the Maori Haka – one that could celebrate Aboriginal cultures and help to counter racism in rugby league.
Specifically, The Fight Together follows NRL star Dean Widders’ journey to make that happen. His efforts have already culminated in the new Indigenous war cry being added to the start of the 2019 NRL Indigenous All Stars – the first step in Widders aim to see the Australian Kangaroos perform the dance before their test matches.
The film will feature other NRL greats Timana Tahu, Preston Campbell and George Rose, as well as Stan Grant, Adam Goodes and Russell Crowe. Financed with support from Screen NSW and the National Rugby League, the project is executive produced by Brendan Dahill and Paul Wiegard.
Widders said: “I’m just trying to reinvigorate people to think about culture and how it makes you stronger. I want these conversations about the dance to lead to bigger and better things, and for people to drive the conversations themselves and do whatever they see the need to do with it. That’s been my aim all the way along, to try and encourage other people to take this dance further.”
The Fight Together will air on NITV in 2021, and will be distributed by Madman Entertainment.