It was 1974.  Newfoundland had only been part of Canada for 25 years and the hated “newfie’ joke was at its peak; we were the butt. Bitter times.

Then four boys from a St. John's school made it to the finals of a national academic championship; a Reach for the Top team vying to become the smartest kids in the country.   The team consists of three Irish boys, one sporty, the second mostly silent, the third a romantic, and the fourth a dreamy lad from Indonesia, son of a doctor at the university.  All of them are 16 years of age. And at the last moment the game’s venue is changed from Alberta to Newfoundland.                            

The boys’ coach, a female teacher at a Jesuit high school, has more than one iron in this fire. She prepares with the focus of a Jedi. The ambitious TV producer is dealing with an indispensable but emotional host and the parents, of course. Plus an island population fixated by the contest and its longed-for cultural vindication.   Game on.  

Adapted from the oral history by Joan Sullivan.  A feature film drama.