Eleven-year-old Dylan Webber (Ed Oxenbould) lives in a small Western Australian town with his father, Jack (Sam Worthington). Following the death of his mother, Dylan is left to look after himself, as his grief-stricken dad spends most of his time asleep or watching television. One day at school, Dylan’s class participates in a paper plane contest, and he discovers a hidden talent when his plane flies so far that it leaves the school building. Diving into his new hobby, Dylan goes on to the National Paper Plane Championships in Sydney, where he meets Kimi, the Junior Japanese Paper Plane Champion. She teaches Dylan that speed and distance are not the only factors to consider when creating a great paper plane; beauty is at least as important.
Motivated by Kimi’s friendship, Dylan earns a spot at the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. Even as Dylan’s friends, neighbours, and eccentric grandfather all work together to raise the funds for his trip to Tokyo, his father remains detached and isolated. But, along the way to the final competition, Dylan learns to accept his father’s sadness, and he commits to creating the most beautiful paper plane he can, whether it wins or loses.