Updated: May 12
Daniele Alcinii, Realscreen, 24 July, 2017
Australian pay-TV network Foxtel is slated to premiere a one-off documentary investigating the story of a young Indigenous man convicted of murder and facing life imprisonment.
Produced by New South Wales-based In Films, The Queen & Zak Grieve (pictured) will follow Dan Box, national crime reporter at The Australian newspaper, through the town of Katherine in Australia’s Northern Territory as he and his team investigate the killing of Ray Niceforo in 2011 and the events that led to 19-year-old Aboriginal man Zak Grieve being jailed, despite evidence he was not there when the crime took place. The Northern Territory, however, has had a 20-year non-parole mandatory minimum sentence for murder since 2004. In addition, if an individual fails to stop a murder in the state, that party can also be convicted of murder. The judge who presided over Grieve’s case described the conviction as an “injustice”.
The hour-long project will feature exclusive interviews with many of the people involved, as well as rare crime scene footage, forensic photographs, police interviews with suspects and trial recordings from the case.
The Queen & Zak Grieve is produced by In Films for The Australian and Foxtel, with production funding from Screen Australia, the Australian Federal Government’s key funding body for screen production, in association with Create NSW.
The one-hour documentary feature will broadcast on Foxtel’s Crime + Investigation channel on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. AEST.
The documentary will also be made available to stream via The Australian beginning Aug. 28 as a 6 x 10-minute series, with a new episode released each day. The Australian subscribers, meanwhile, will be able to download the entire series from Aug. 26.
“The Queen & Zak Grieve brings together the talents of reporter Dan Box and the team at In Films for a powerful examination of justice that audiences will find shocking,” said Liz Stevens, Screen Australia’s senior manager of documentary, in a statement. “It’s an important development that The Australian is providing a new platform for audiences to view Australian documentaries.”