by GREG KING
BackTrack Boys is an observational documentary that features the rough talking, free-wheeling jackaroo, Bernie Shakeshaft, and the youth program he runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale, NSW. The film follows Zac, Tyrson and Rusty, three troubled boys, as they hit the road with Bernie’s legendary dog jumping team and travel to rural shows across NSW. The dog shows started out as a way to teach kids self-discipline, calm their emotions, build trust, and boost their communication skills, but now they have become the world record holders. In the last ten years, over 1000 kids have walked through the BackTrack doors, and in that same time the local crime rate has dropped by more than 50%. It’s an alternative to detention and succeeds where others have failed. Documentary filmmaker Catherine Scott spent the better part of two years working on the project, and she spoke to Greg about this inspiring movie and the response it has received on the festival circuit.
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