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News May 22, 2023

‘John Farnham: Finding the Voice’ Becomes Biggest Australian Music Doco

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‘John Farnham: Finding the Voice’ Becomes Biggest Australian Music Doco

“John Farnham: Finding the Voice” will today become the biggest theatrical Australian music documentary.

Its box office figures from Mothers Day previews and its opening weekend, now exceed $1.15 million.

The filmmakers said they were thrilled with the results, with writer and director Poppy Stockell, noting that with Farnham breaking so many local music records throughout his storied career, it’s only fitting that the film does too.

“I had actually written in my book when I started the project that I wanted it to be the highest-grossing Australian documentary. I actually wrote that. And I told Jen Peedom, who had the No. 1 with “Mountain”, and she was like, “Go for it”,” Stockell told TMN this morning.

“So that was my goal. And it’s not about money, it’s just about breaking a record because John had a lifetime of breaking records, so to do his story justice, I think we needed to break a few too.”

Beyond that though, she wanted to ensure Farnham’s legacy was celebrated by fans new and old and get a picture of the size and scale of his struggles and achievements.

“I wanted to introduce a whole new generation to his music and for the generations that know his music to really get to see his life in a film, condensed in that format so that you can see the highs and the lows, and so you could really see it as a whole and marvel at it and be amazed by it,” she said.

“I think the time is really, really right to celebrate these incredible artists whilst they’re still here. You know Glenn [Wheatley] and Olivia [Newton-John] have passed, but John’s here and he’s had a few health scares, and I think it’s really wonderful to celebrate him right now.”

It’s a celebration, she said, but a realistic one, showing the mistakes, the manipulation, the egos and the errors that come with climbing to the top of the music industry.

“There’s lots of pretty tricky times that we explored. We don’t shy away from the first manager [Darryl Sambell] and the struggles,” Stockell said.

“I think all of us, possibly someday we’ll loo back at our lives and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we made and celebrate the wins.”

“John Farnham: Finding the Voice” is in cinemas now. 

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