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Champion: The Franz Stampfl Story


March 27, 2018
Champion Trailer wins three awards on the International Film Festival Circuit!
We thought we would enter our current trailer into a few international film festivals who had a "Best Trailer" category, just to see if people would respond to the work. We were, however, shocked to not only get a 100% success rate in official selections at festivals, but also walk away with a total of three awards!! The trailer was officially selected for all six festivals we entered and has won Best Trailer at the Copenhagen Film Festival in Denmark, Best Web Short at Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest in Romania and Best Trailer at the Brownsville International Film Festival in the USA!

Absolutely amazed and delighted with this response and so grateful to all the festivals for their support of the work. We are now fundraising again to complete the film, so any donation amount you can give would be amazing and so gratefully received. And thank you again to all our wonderful current donors! It's thanks to all of you that we have managed to do what we have to date and we are sincerely grateful for your help and support!

May 1, 2017
Champion Trailer Officially Selected for second International Film Festival!
We are in the final throes of filming and are delighted to announce that the "Champion" trailer has now been officially selected for it's second international film festival outing in the "Best Trailer" category!

We screened in February as an official selection in this category at the UK Screen One International Film Festival and will now soon screen as an official selection as part of the Sunlight International Film Festival in Berlin/Moscow!

Huge thanks to all our supporters and donors for helping us get this far.  We are still taking donations to complete the film, so feel free to spread the word!

See our trailer at: https://vimeo.com/156947136

More updates coming soon!

February 4, 2017
The "Champion" team is back in business!
After a hiatus of a few months, Producers, Ben Steel and Sally McLean are back onto the final leg of production and already prepping for the rough cut of the film.  

We have now interviewed 42 athletes, friends and family of Franz Stampfl, shot a day of reenactments and begun filming our B-roll footage. We have welcomed Executive Producer, Phil Craig (former Head of Factual, ABC) to the team and continue working with Executive Producer Robert Galinsky (former Marketing, Disney).  We have renamed the film to "Champion" and located a dizzying array of archive footage.  

Outside of the documentary, Sally has won two awards for Directing with her other project "Shakespeare Republic" and had her work now screened at 30 film festivals internationally. Ben is nearing completion of his own documentary "The Show Must Go On" about mental health in the entertainment business in Australia, which has kept him occupied this last year and Sally has just released Season Two of "Shakespeare Republic" starring Alan Fletcher, Michala Banas, Nadine Garner, Christopher Kirby, Dean Haglund and many others, which is already getting some film festival love, following on from the runaway success of Season One. 

So, while we may not have posted an update here for a while, rest assured, we've still been busy!

We still need a bit more cash to complete this film, so expect to hear more from us on that in the coming weeks, but for now we would like to say a huge "thank you" to all our supporters, donors and friends of the film who have got us to this point.  We couldn't keep up the work without your invaluable support!  We look forward to bringing you more news very soon.

"Success comes from hard work, hard work and more hard work.  There are no shortcuts" - Franz Stampfl

December 2, 2015
Sally McLean
Thank you to all our amazing donors for their support and help with this production.  We are heading into the final strait for this marathon and we couldn't have done it without you!

We are especially grateful to those who donated so we could get to Queensland to interview a whole new group of fascinating people, including the late, great Ron Clarke.  Our time with Ron in his home on the Friday, only a few days before his passing, as it turned out, is a memory I know the team will treasure.  Ron was happy, sharing his stories of Franz and his life with us on camera and I, along with the whole team, feel honoured and privileged to have been the last people to be able to interview him and put his thoughts and experiences on record.  He is greatly missed by many of the A Life Unexpected community, but we are so grateful we got to speak to him before the chance was lost.

Thank you to everyone for your support and continuing encouragement. 

Not long until we hit that finish line.  More news about what is happening next on our website: http://www.alifeunexpected.com

With best regards,



A Life Unexpected

[Photo - Director, Sally McLean with Ron Clarke just after his interview in 2015. Copyright Finish Line Films Pty Ltd]

May 31, 2015
Thank you to Vaclav Dekanovsky for your donation with the message: "Thanks for the inspiration so far. Looking forward to see the movie" - your support is very much appreciated!
November 25, 2014
A huge thank you to the Dunera Association here in Australia for their generous donation to the film. Your support is very much appreciated indeed!
October 8, 2014
Thank you to Frank McNamara for your donation to the film with the message: "Obviously an inspirational character." Franz was indeed inspirational and we very much appreciate your support in bringing his story to the screen!
September 8, 2014
Thank you to "The Ostrich" for donating $50 to the film with the message: "Hope to see the documentary about Franz Stampfl" - thank you for your support!
September 3, 2014
Thank you to Scott Arnott for donating with the message: "Sounds like a great story." We very much appreciate your support!
September 2, 2014
Thank you to Pablo Sanchez for your donation and message "Keep up the excellent work! :-)". Your support is very much appreciated!
September 2, 2014
A huge thank you to our anonymous benefactor who donated $500 to the film! Your support is truly appreciated!
September 2, 2014
Thank you to our anonymous donor who just donated $100 to the film! Your support is greatly appreciated!
September 2, 2014
Thank you Belinda Kirwan for your donation with message: "All the best xox" - your support is truly appreciated!
September 1, 2014
A huge thank you to Pip O'Connor for her donation with the message: "Good luck - have enjoyed reading about your progress. Best wishes. Pip". Pip, we are so grateful for your continuing support - thank you very much again!
August 31, 2014
Thank you to our Anonymous benefactor who just donated $100! We very much appreciate your support - whomever and wherever you are!
August 31, 2014
Thank you to Thelma Chalmers for her donation to the film! We very much appreciate your support!
August 31, 2014
Massive thank you to Tim Parker for your very generous donation and your message: "Such an important story to be told. Well done to Sally for bringing this amazing story forward"! We truly appreciate your generous support and your appreciation for Franz's story. Thank you so much again!
August 31, 2014
Thank you Lissy for your donation and your message: "Best of luck!" We appreciate your contribution and your message!
August 31, 2014
Big thank you to Mark & Jo Clonan for your generous donation and your good luck message! We very much appreciate your support!
August 30, 2014
A big thank you to Merlin Floyd for his generous donation! We so very much appreciate your support and thank you for contributing!
August 30, 2014
Huge thanks to Mr Scotty Lawrence for his very generous donation! With the message: "Let me know when the film is ready. Well done. You've clearly done great work here." We very much appreciate your support and good wishes - and we will certainly let you know when the film is complete! Thank you again!
August 30, 2014
While we're here - we'd like to publicly thank the following donors who gave in this round before the new DAF website was launched: Mark Bartels, Jamie Hansen, Pip O'Connor and Jim Barry. Thank you to all of you for your very generous support of the film - all of us here at "A Life Unexpected" are very appreciative of you making the effort and helping us in such a substantial way to achieve our goal!
August 30, 2014
Thank you Tanje Ruddick for your donation and lovely message: "Best of luck with the project. A very worthy documentary. Looking forward to seeing the final cut!" We appreciate your generosity in both thought and deed!
August 30, 2014
A big thank you to Lyne Tremblay for donating to the film with the message: "Good luck with your film. Can't wait to see the end product." We very much appreciate your support and good wishes! Thank you again!
August 28, 2014
Thank you to Jarrod for your donation! We are very grateful for your support :)
August 28, 2014
Huge thanks to James Sutherland for his donation with the message: "Good luck!" Thank you James for both your very generous donation and your support! We very much appreciate both!
August 27, 2014
Many thanks to another generous donor - Kay Jamieson - for donating towards the film! We truly appreciate your support and generosity. Thank you again!
August 26, 2014
A big thank you to Geoffrey Hayden for donating to the film with the following comment: "Good luck with the documentary..looking forward to seeing the end result." We very much appreciate your support and thank you for your generous donation!
August 20, 2014
Thank you so much to Cherry Gunnersen for donating to the film with the following message: "Franz trained me as a schoolgirl athlete and I have such fond memories of him". We are so delighted to hear from you and very appreciative of your support! Thank you again!
July 11, 2014
We would like to thank the wonderful donors who have contributed to the $5,750.00 raised to date this donation round. Your generosity in supporting this film is greatly appreciated! Do you want to join the "A Life Unexpected" Donors List and show your support of an important History documentary that celebrates the Golden Age of Sport? Information on how to donate and more can be found here: http://alifeunexpected.com/donate/
July 4, 2014
So far "A Life Unexpected" has travelled to London, Oxford, Dublin, Vienna and Melbourne to interview a plethora of eminent and entertaining individuals, including Sir Roger Bannister, Sir Christopher Chataway, Ulick O’Connor, John Landy, Ralph Doubell and others about the intriguing personality, life and legacy of Franz Stampfl. Read more here: http://alifeunexpected.com/2014/06/26/another-looming-filming-date-and-we-need-your-help/