The documentary is presented by AFL legend Michael O’Loughlin.
Prime Video has released the first-look trailer for its upcoming Australian Amazon Original documentary, Warriors On The Field, which explores the personal and poignant stories of three Indigenous Australian Football League (AFL) players.
Presented by AFL legend Michael O’Loughlin and directed by Indigenous academic and filmmaker Larissa Behrendt, Warriors On The Field is a look at the strength Indigenous players get from their culture, connection to the game, and how it helps them navigate racism in Australia. Sharing their stories alongside O’Loughlin – a Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga man are current AFL players Michael “Sonny” Walters, a Proud Noongar man from the Fremantle Dockers, and up-and-coming North Melbourne young gun Tarryn Thomas, a Kamillaroi and Lumaranaana man originally from Sydney.
“Prime Video is proud to showcase first-hand the three Indigenous AFL players extraordinary backgrounds, the challenges they endure day-to-day, both on the field and off, and their spiritual connection to culture and country that means so very much to each of them,” said Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand. “Highlighting the important contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander footballers have made to Australian sport is very important to us, and we are privileged that Michael, Sonny and Tarryn agreed to share their stories for Prime Video members worldwide.”
Warriors On The Field looks to Michael O’Loughlin’s childhood in South Australia and takes him back to his roots, playing backyard footy, as he dreamed of making it in the sport at the highest level. He introduces his family, including mum Muriel and uncle Michael “Muddy” O’Loughlin, who provides an insight into life as a young Aboriginal man. Michael speaks with the younger AFL players and their families to hear their stories and learn about the challenges in making their mark on the game.
“Football has the power to unite us, teach us, and ultimately to shape us,” Michael O’Loughlin said. “I believe this documentary shows the positive impact the sport has had on my life and the lives of many before me. We must listen and learn from our past and present day First Nations players who are best placed on these issues in our sport and society. We have a long way to go in this country, but we must continue to persevere and educate.”
The documentary project was originally envisaged by AFL executive general manager inclusion and social policy, Tanya Hosch, who said it was important to continue to showcase and celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Australian Football.
“It’s fantastic to have the Warriors On The Field documentary come to life with the support of both the AFL and Prime Video and provide a means for First Nations players to share their stories and the importance of country and identity and I am extremely grateful to the players and their families for opening themselves up to share more of their lives and cultures with us,” Hosch said.
“Our game has a rich history with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, so I’m looking forward to enabling others to share in this understanding and insight through the Warriors On The Field documentary.”