• Zach's Ceremony shows a personal account of the complex journey to manhood for Aboriginal men in today's society. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Internationally acclaimed documentary, Zach’s Ceremony set for world television premiere for NAIDOC Week.
NITV Staff Writer

30 Jun 2017 - 9:58 AM  UPDATED 30 Jun 2017 - 10:00 AM

Award winning and internationally acclaimed documentary film, Zach’s Ceremony will be released this weekend on Sunday 2 July at 8.30pm on NITV Ch.34, to celebrate the beginning of NAIDOC Week.

The film explores the coming of age story and father, son relationship between Indigenous teenager, Zach Doomadgee and his father, as they young boy searches for connection to his ancient culture in the modern world.

As Zach transitions from boyhood to manhood, he is faced with the complicated matters of family, culture and belonging. Here viewers are enabled a real, raw and rare insight into the difficulties for an Aboriginal boy grappling with culture and identity living in a modern society.

Produced by Zach’s father, Aboriginal activist, Alec Doomadgee, the film was conceptualised over a decade ago, when Zach began questioning his identity, his culture and his heritage. It had been a lifelong dream for Alec to create this film, which shows Aboriginal culture is alive in the modern day world, and portrays its beauty on an international stage.

"I think this film is going to bring about a positive change for our people, and our men in particular, to reawaken the warrior."

Zach was just 10 years old when filming began 10 years ago. Looking back on everything, the young man says he has learnt a lot from this film.

"No matter what your skin colour is or what your race is, listen to your elders and what they have to say, teachers at school, or anyone who mentors you and gets you through your struggles – listen to them because they do have wise things to tell you," he said.

His father Alec says the story is a bit like the Lion King, it’s the universal struggle between a father and his growing son.   

“The initiation ceremony will give him the strength and the foundation he needs to survive in this society because once he goes through that he doesn’t have to justify himself to anybody about who he is and where he comes from or what he represents. ”

"I think this film is going to bring about a positive change for our people, and our men in particular, to reawaken the warrior."

In making the film director, Aaron Petersen, shot over 400 hours in 8 visits over the 10 years.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman says it's important to utilise films like this, especially during NAIDOC Week, to shed light on modern Aboriginal families balancing culture, heritage and traditions while living in contemporary society. 

"Zach’s Ceremony will resonate on a personal level with young viewers and their parents, due to its honest portrayal of a father and sons relationship complicated by matters of identity, culture and obligation.”

Zach’s Ceremony won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sydney Film Festival 2016, the Best Documentary (Audience Award) at the Melbourne Film Festival 2016 and the Best Film Award and Best Documentary Award at the Byron Bay Film Festival 2016. The film was also officially selected for the Cinefest Oz 2016, Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival 2016, Margaret Mead Film Festival 2016, Darwin International Film Festival 2016 and Hot Docs Festival 2016.

Zach’s Ceremony will air on NITV on Sunday 2 July at 8.30pm and will be available after broadcast on SBS On Demand

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