Premiere Screening

Welcome!

MICHAEL STRINGER MCINTYRE

We are excited to be launching AUSSIE RULES THE WORLD! After reading a small article in the Sydney Morning Herald about Swan’s superstar Brett Kirk becoming the AFL International Ambassador, we thought his journey would make a great film for both footy fans and travelers. I grew up in Tasmania and have been a dedicated Tigers fan since I was 10. My mum has been a St Kilda supporter for 58 years and now my son is a passionate Swans’ supporter. Stay tuned on Facebook/Twitter and sign up for our newsletter to hear more about the film!

Cheers, Mick
Director/Cinematographer/Producer

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News

Sydney Morning Herald Feature on AUSSIE RULES THE WORLD

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lifetime adventure: Brett Kirk in India during his world tour to promote AFL. SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - July 16 : Captain Brett Kirk's mission: to boldly go where Aussie rules has never gone before  

Which is the bigger challenge: an international mission to bring Aussie Rules to the rest of the world, or travelling the globe for half a year with four kids under the age of six?

Both were demands facing former Sydney Swans captain Brett Kirk, who, after retiring in 2010, landed the role of international ambassador for the AFL. At their behest he toured 23 countries, and in tow were his wife Hayley, son Indhi, 6, twin daughters Memphys and Tallulah, 4, and Sadie, 2.

"Everyone said we were crazy when we decided to embark on this great adventure," Kirk says of life on the road with small children. "Obviously it was challenging at times, but no more challenging than it would be being back in Australia. We were just so grateful that we could take the opportunity to give some perspective to our children about how other people live."

The AFL was seeking to build on the 100,000-plus players of the game worldwide, with Kirk visiting and mentoring teams as diverse as the Western Cape Magpies in South Africa, Reykjavik Bulls in Iceland, the Vikings (Denmark) and the Toronto Blues (Canada).  

News of the global drive came across the radar of Sydney filmmaker Michael Stringer McIntyre, who documented the tour for the feature Aussie Rules the World, which is about to get a limited theatrical release nationally.

On a mission: (From left) Filmmaker Michael McIntyre, Brett and Hayley Kirk and their children.

On a mission: (From left) Filmmaker Michael McIntyre, Brett and Hayley Kirk and their children.

For McIntyre, the story is not only about the AFL’s survival in the face of changing viewing habits and the growth in popularity of other sporting competitions, such as the English Premier League. It is also, and centrally, about the charismatic Kirk, one of the code’s most highly respected figures.

"Here’s this intelligent Buddhist, fairminded, inspiring leader, yet a fearless warrior on the field," McIntyre says. "It was a delight. I was continually learning from him and watching his ability to communicate and relate to people. It was a joy and a bit of a fantasy, really – following this extraordinary superstar, playing and hanging out with others that play a game that I love."

The camera follows Kirk as he connects with sports groups such as the Tel Aviv Peace Team, which has both Palestinian and Israeli members, as he negotiates travel chaos in India, and sings and dances on the pitch with South African players.

Going global: Aussie rules touches down in Africa.

Going global: Aussie rules touches down in Africa.

"It was wonderful because it was so grassroots," says Kirk. "I’d been so indoctrinated in terms of the professional lifestyle of an athlete and everything that goes with it. I was back full circle to where I was as a kid, where it was all about community volunteers and people having a kickaround and barbecue, and those sorts of things, and everyone being together and lots of fun and laughter."

The film is narrated by another ambassador of the sport, David Wenham, and concludes back in Australia for the AFL International Cup,which consists of 17 competing nations. It is being released to coincide with the next Cup tournament, which begins in Melbourne in August. 

Kirk, who is now assistant coach at the Fremantle Dockers, says he hopes the film will spark a conversation about the game overseas. "Footy is a great connector and leveller," he says. "It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, the colour of your skin, what religion you follow, how much money you’ve got. Once you get out on that field, it’s just a great vehicle to bring people together."

Aussie Rules the World screens at selected cinemas nationally from July 22.


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    Hayley Kirk

    "Watching Brett bring AFL to people who are living in very poor conditions around the world I see the change that can come through sport, through this opportunity. Brett is a really giving and great person and its shining even more that we are abroad - with people he's never met, he's giving them an opportunity to change their lives."