Penguin man Taylor Forward stars in new documentary 'Small Town Drifter'

A drift racer with a positive message about regional communities will have his story beamed across the nation as part of the inaugural SBS Short Film Festival.

Small Town Drifter is a short documentary that follows Penguin man Taylor Forward as he travels to Japan for the G1GP drifting competition.

"The fundamental philosophy of the story is just that a small town doesn't need to define your aspirations in life," he said.

Mr Forward craves the adrenaline of drifting and said it is not "just some hoons on the street doing burnouts" but a fast-growing motorsport that "takes a lot of car control and skills to master".

But when he was 15, Mr Forward chased another kind of rush: alcohol.

His life was irrevocably changed when he fell into a bonfire at a mate's place after drinking eight cans of pre-mixed vodka.

Mr Forward eventually recovered from the ensuing third-degree burns and gained a new outlook on life captured in Small Town Drifter.

"Life can sometimes throw some curve balls at you but they don't have to end your journey," he said.

"I never wanted to be a victim of my circumstances and I think a lot of young people struggle with that."

THE STAR: Penguin drift racer Taylor Forward is featured in a documentary as part of the SBS short film festival. Picture: Brodie Weeding

THE STAR: Penguin drift racer Taylor Forward is featured in a documentary as part of the SBS short film festival. Picture: Brodie Weeding

The fact Mr Forward's life "could've gone very differently after the accident" was one element that attracted filmmaker Dylan Hesp to his story.

The Launceston native co-produced Small Town Drifter with Michael O'Neill and said he loved Mr Forward's "zeal for life".

"Taylor is incredibly enthusiastic and I think people see that when they watch the documentary and see just how excited he is to be there (in Japan) and to be living the dream," Mr Hesp said.

"It's not often that you get to find people who are genuine, great people with such a well-meaning desire for life and also excited to go and achieve it."

THE TEAM: Small Town Drifter co-producer Dylan Hesp with drift racer Taylor Forward in his workshop at Penguin. Picture: Brodie Weeding

THE TEAM: Small Town Drifter co-producer Dylan Hesp with drift racer Taylor Forward in his workshop at Penguin. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Mr Hesp knew Mr Forward when they were growing up but he was never as keen on cars.

"That's what we thought was really fun about it because we knew Taylor would be a great introduction to that sport," he said.

"Regardless of whether you cared about that sport, you'd want to see Taylor do well."

Small Town Drifter is one of 14 films to be featured exclusively on SBS's streaming service when the film festival kicks off on Saturday.

SBS Director of TV and Online Content Marshall Heald said the festival films "represent Australia's diversity and will give a platform to creatives from communities that are underrepresented in the screen sector".

To watch Small Town Drifter and other festival films visit www.sbs.com.au/ondemand between September 13 and 15.

This story 'Smalltown drifter' from Penguin stars in new documentary first appeared on The Advocate.