Skip to main content


Australia, 2008 (MIFF 2008, Homegrown)

Director: Edward Martin

“Australia's own buried idol… he was a world champion, a former Australian of the Year, a musician with Number 1 hits and the greatest Aboriginal boxer of all time.” - filmmaker Eddie Martin

Tokyo 1968, Japanese boxer Fighting Harada loses the world bantamweight title after 15 rounds, propelling the victor Lionel Rose into the history books as the first ever Aboriginal world championship boxer. Returning to Melbourne, Lionel was greeted by 250,000 people filling the streets to hail him a hero; he went on to become Australian of the Year, and an icon of interracial politics.

Combining vibrant long-lost archival material, modern day footage and candid interviews, Lionel is a biopic about an often-forgotten Australian champion who took on the world against all odds and won.

Edward Martin, Lizette Atkins and Lionel Rose are guests of the festival.

D Edward Martin P Lizzette Atkins S David Tiley Dist Siren Visual TD digibeta/2008/80mins

Limelight Events

See also...


It's about love, it's about loss, it's about sex. ... Isolated, a lonely tollbooth operator watches as the world flows past him in a never-ending stream of vehicles, their passengers travelling to ... More »


Carrying the world on your shoulders is difficult when you're only 16.A drama lived through the eyes of an adolescent. Tony Hobb is not your average 16-year-old - after the death of his father he's ... More »


If you go down to the woods today... ... The close friendship of three teenagers crumbles at the hands of a deranged sociopath in Acolytes, a nail-biting thriller from Redball director Jon ... More »


It is happening now: in our country. ... Shot by Dutch cinematographer Leonard Retel Helmrich, known for his innovative camera techniques, this documentary is one of the most exquisitely crafted ... More »


Boys will be boys.With one night left before being shipped off to Iraq, three Navy officers on shore leave hit the town to celebrate. Dean chases down his fiancée, Sam tries to avoid his partner and ... More »


“We wanted to explore some of the unspoken fears and vulnerabilities that many men face, but are unable to voice.” - filmmaker Michael Joy ... Six strangers meet in a suburban lounge room to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director