Champion: The Franz Stampfl Story (Trailer)

Champion is a new feature-length documentary currently in production about the life of world-renowned Athletics Coach and Dunera Boy, Franz Stampfl - who produced over 450 Olympians, Commonwealth Games athletes, World Champions and National Champions from over 17 countries during his 60+ year career, including coaching Roger Bannister to break the Four Minute Mile in 1954.

At a time when we all need heroes and to be reminded of the power of one, this documentary tells the tale of one individual's amazing and unexpected life – showing all of us that anyone, anywhere can do anything if we just dare to believe.

  • Sally McLean
    Shakespeare Republic
  • Sally McLean
    Shakespeare Republic, Why Must The Show Go On?
  • Sally McLean
    Shakespeare Republic, Why Must The Show Go On?, A Little Rain Must Fall
  • Ben Steel
  • Phil Craig (Exec. Producer)
  • Robert Galinsky (Exec. Producer)
  • Sir Roger Bannister
    Key Cast
  • Sir Christopher Chataway
    Key Cast
  • John Landy
    Key Cast
  • Ron Clarke
    Key Cast
  • Ralph Doubell
    Key Cast
  • Herb Elliot
    Key Cast
  • Shaun Herbertson
    Directors of Photography
  • Tim Egan
    Directors of Photography
  • Saraj Alkemade
  • Tim McCormick
    Sound Recordists
  • Gunay Demerci
    Sound Recordists
  • Saraj Alkemade
    Sound Recordists
  • Tim McCormick
    Sound Design
  • Hakan Eriksson
  • Sally McLean
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia, Austria, Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, German
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • UK Screen One International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    March 18, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Bucharest Film Awards
    September 27, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Sunlight International Film Festival
    October 25, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Brownsville International Film Festival
    United States
    November 18, 2017
    Winner: Judges' Choice Best Film Trailer
  • Bucharest ShortCut CineFest
    February 25, 2018
    Winner: Best Web Short
  • Copenhagen Film Festival
    March 3, 2018
    Winner: Best Film Trailer
  • Independent Talents International Film Festival
    Bloomington, IN
    United States
    December 1, 2018
    Winner: Best Trailer
Director Biography - Sally McLean

A graduate of The Actors Institute, London, further studies undertaken with the faculty at the Howard Fine Studio, Australia, Sally McLean has played roles in over thirty UK and Australian professional theatre productions, including Flame Trees, Uncle Vanya, The Auxiliary, Chasing Pegasus (a play in ten chords), The Clairvoyant, P.S I Love You, the Australian Premier of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and the World Premier of Annabel’s Requiem on the West End.

Sally has also played Shakespeare in both Australia and the UK, playing roles in Macbeth and Hamlet in the UK before performing for three seasons with the Australian Shakespeare Company in their critically acclaimed productions of Comedy of Errors and Romeo & Juliet.

Sally has additionally appeared in various lead and guest roles on numerous UK, USA and Australian television series and films including Preacher, Utopia, Lowdown, Elephant Princess, Flying Doctors, Totally Full Frontal, Blue Heelers, Tonight Live, Bingles, Comedy Inc. and the BAFTA Award-winning BBC mini-series Bootleg.

Her work behind the camera began with the BBC as a member of the Books & Special Projects Unit in BBC Music & Arts. Three years in production at the BBC led to her writing and producing her first film A Little Rain Must Fall in London in late 1996, thought to be the first TV-length drama to be shot on DV tape in the UK, and to her forming her production business Incognita Enterprises under the Honorary Patronage of Oscar® nominated actor, Sir Nigel Hawthorne – an association that continued until his passing in 2001.

Since then, Sally has worked in production for Channel Nine, Endemol Southern Star and others on programs including Big Brother, Australian Idol, The X-Factor and 1 VS 100, written and produced a number of short films and two theatrical productions (which she also directed), and is currently creator/director/producer for her award-winning web series, Shakespeare Republic, which is now into it's second season and features performances from Michala Banas, Nadine Garner, Christopher Kirby, Alan Fletcher and Dean Haglund, among others. Other industry activities include serving as an official Jury member in both acting and screen craft categories for the AFI Awards, AACTA Awards and ATOM Awards since 2010. Champion is Sally's debut feature documentary, in the final stages of production.

Sally continues to work in Australian theatre, film and television as an actor as well as developing several projects for both the big and small screen as writer and producer.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

One of the first questions I asked when hearing about Franz Stampfl was “Why don’t I know about this man?”. It seemed ludicrous to me that someone who had done so much for Athletics both here and internationally and for the Australian identity through Sport had been relegated to a footnote.

But for me, it goes deeper than my need to reintroduce a man of this calibre to the world who has been, for all intents and purposes, forgotten (although, as Franz himself would say “Hail the King! Ah! The King is dead! Here comes the next one ... Hail the King!”).

It wasn’t until I was 15 years old that I discovered I had an Olympian for a mother. It was mentioned to me by a family friend, and when I asked my mother (Marg Woodlock-McLean), she calmly confirmed what I thought to be a wild rumour, saying “It was just something I did. I didn’t think it would be of interest to anyone but myself.”

This was typical of my mother. What I didn’t know is that it was also typical of Franz Stampfl, her coach. And what I would eventually come to learn is that the philosophy my mother had passed onto me - the pursuit of excellence, committing to your goals, being true to yourself, among others - which had formed the core of who I was - had also come from Franz. Despite my never meeting him, he had profoundly influenced my life. And I wanted to know more.

And so, Champion was born. Essentially, this film is a chance to uncover and explore the truly remarkable person that was Franz Stampfl and the fascinating individuals he coached. I want to tell this exceptional, difficult, impulsive, creative and always driven man’s story, via those who knew him, those who trained with him and those who have been influenced by him and bring attention to an extraordinary individual who not only revolutionised Athletics in the modern world, but gave inspiration to thousands of people from all walks of life – and has never been fully acknowledged for his contribution.