Brabham biopic turns to crowdfunding to cross finish line

A documentary film about three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham has been four years in the works but needs help to make it to the screen

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Telling the tale of Formula 1 title-winning driver and team founder Sir Jack Brabham, Australian feature-length film Brabham: The Untold Story of Formula One is sure to be a thrilling piece of cinema. We may never get to see it though, as the filmmakers are currently asking for A$50,000 ($37,000, £29,000) to ensure its completion, according to CarSales AU.

According to Aurora Films, the production company behind the movie, a region in between A$50,000 and A$200,000 is needed to make sure that the film can be ready for previewing at next March’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and then into cinemas.

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To source the funds required, Aurora has set up a crowdfunding page on Crowd88, and as the project is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, it means all contributions are tax deductible and contributors will receive a representative portion of the film’s revenue.

Brabham’s F1 achievements included 14 grand prix wins, the status as the first Australian to win races and titles in F1, the only driver to win a world championship in a car they constructed, and the first world champion to drive a rear-engined car. That 1959 success was achieved after Brabham pushed his Cooper-Climax car over the finish line at Sebring, a metaphor that can be handily applied to the production of this film.

A sum of A$11,000 has already been raised, and if contributions go above the $50,000, the excess will be spent on marketing the documentary film dedicated to the story of the late three-time F1 world champion. The film is being distributed by Transmission Films, which also worked recently on a film about Bruce McLaren, another Antipodean who won grands prix and set up their own title-winning F1 team. The Brabham film has been in the works since 2014, the year of Brabham’s death aged 88, but was only publicly announced this year.

The Brabham biopic will feature archive footage of Brabham’s racing exploits, from the very beginning at home in Australia to his title-winning years in F1, and interviews with many of his contemporaries.

These include fellow world champions Sir Jackie Stewart and John Surtees, grand prix winner and rival Sir Stirling Moss, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who owned the Brabham team from 1971-’88, and Ron Tauranac, who co-founded the team with Brabham, designed many of the cars and eventually sold it on to Ecclestone.

Brabham’s youngest son David, who is heading efforts to relaunch the brand with the brand new BT62 hypercar, and Australian F1 and sportscar racing star Mark Webber, are also included.

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