NIT Interview – Doomadgee doco charts father-son journey

When Alec Doomadgee first began filming special moments in his son Zach’s childhood, like chasing goannas and going to the footy, he couldn’t have imagined the labour of love would one day receive a standing ovation in New York. But that’s exactly what happened when Zach’s Ceremony, the coming-of-age documentary about Zachary Doomadgee, which had its beginnings in the footage shot by Alec, was screened at the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York in October. Now the documentary will open in Australian cinemas next week.

Alec Doomadgee talks with about his experience at FIFO 2017

The 14th International Festival of Documentary Film Oceanian or FIFO be held at the House of Culture in Papeete, Tahiti, from 7 to 12 February 2017 . asks Alec Doomadgee director and actor of the documentary in the Official Competition of the 2017 FIFO ”  Zach’s Ceremony “

Translation of the interview

Alec Doomadgee
I am very honored to participate in this edition of FIFO and to be present for the screening of my documentary “Zach’s Ceremony”.
When I started writing his story, my goal was to project it internationally because this film traces the history of the Australian aborigines, my story. It mixes the past with the present.
It also demonstrates the importance of spirituality as well as the beauty of this culture.
This documentary is a tool to share the aboriginal culture with the rest of the world. To use the culture of the ancestors is a wealth that one must wear with pride.
Tahitian culture is similar to ours: colonization by the French, the problem of double culture.
We could have been French if the expedition commanded by Jean-Francois de la Perouse had arrived two days earlier [laughs].
In Australia, a program is planned to project the film in different schools to raise awareness among young people.
For the FIFO, I will participate in the various conferences and debates on my documentary and I will be delighted to meet the public.

Film about Aboriginal identity, shown at New York’s Margaret Mead Film Festival

A film about a young man's initiation ceremony at a remote Aboriginal community in Queensland has received a standing ovation at the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York. Zach's Ceremony, directed by Aaron Petersen and produced by Alec Doomadgee and Sarah Linton, was filmed over a 10-year period. The film centres around Doomadgee, and his son Zach, as Zach struggles with his identity and the challenges he faced living between Sydney and his remote community. At the same time as the New York screening, the documentary was on at the Byron Bay Film Festival, where it picked up the best documentary award.

Through the eyes of a boy

Pro Bono Australia partnered with GOOD PITCH² to shine a light on powerful films that are addressing some of society’s most pressing issues. Aaron Petersen, director of Zach’s Ceremony, invites viewers to submerse themselves in Zach’s world and see it through the eyes of the boy. In the documentary a 13-year-old Zach Doomadgee says: “In Sydney they call me a blackfella, in Doomadgee they call me a whitefella. I don’t know who I am.”

FilmInk Interviews Zach’s Ceremony – Anthony O’Connor

Anthony O'Connor talks to director, Aaron Petersen, Associate Producer, Alec Doomadgee, and Zach Doomadgee, the subject of the excellent indigenous doco, Zach's Ceremony.
Growing up isn’t easy, especially for Zach who is rapidly making the transition from boyhood to manhood, in both the modern world and his ancient culture. Pressures from his loving, but staunch father, the temptations of city life and the ever present spectre of racism all take their toll. Ultimately Zach must embrace the traditions and knowledge of his ancestors and awaken the warrior within.

Next Projection – Kamran Ahmed

Peterson’s coming-of-age documentary chronicles six years in the life of Zachariah Doomadgee, an aboriginal growing up in Sydney, far away from his peoples land claim and culture. His father teaches him about his people, in an effort to maintain the culture, but Zach feels always split between the blackfella and whitefella, ostracized both by his aboriginal ancestry as well as his urban present. Peterson provides a highly intimate portrait of Zach’s struggle, from preteen ambition to teenage angst, all the while offering voice to Zach’s culture and people.

Movie Quotes & More – Douglas Gosse

Rites of passage have existed since the beginning of time, serving to affirm membership within a group, and acknowledgement of change in status. Traditional rites of passage are of particular importance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In Zach’s Ceremony, related themes of colonialism, marginality, sense of belonging, and perseverance, collide with the complex relationship between a father and son of Aboriginal heritage living in Sydney – Alec and Zach Doomadgee, lending this film broad universal appeal.