It was 1974. Newfoundland had only been part of Canada for 25 years.
The hated “newfie’ joke was at its peak; an unfortunate national funmaking exercise at the expense of the supposed stupidity, vapidity and gullibility of the Newfoundlander. Yawn.
Then four boys from a St. John's school, the Jesuit-run Gonzaga High, make it to the finals of the national championship; a Reach for the Top to become the smartest kids in the country. The underdogs have a chance to become top dogs in spite of bowties and prince valiant haircuts. The team consists of three Irish boys and a lad from Indonesia, son of a doctor at the university. An anomaly in these pale and homogenous times. All of them are 16 years of age. They are a winning combination.
The show’s producer has to deal with an emotional host, a contentious jury, and the children’s parents, OF COURSE. And a population fixated by the contest and its cultural vindication.
Adapted from the oral history by Joan Sullivan. A dramatic feature film.