An upcoming feature documentary exploring neo-Nazi communities in Australia will introduce a new slate of long-form investigative factual content from Nine-owned streamer Stan.
Bentley Dean’s Amongst Us – Neo Nazi Australia is the first title to come under the platform’s Revealed banner, which was officially launched on Wednesday.
There is also set to be a forensic examination of the ‘Frankston Serial Killer’ Paul Denyer, reported by The Age’s veteran crime reporter John Silvester, titled The Price of Hate, as well as Reefshot, an urgent call to action on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, featuring Sydney Morning Herald environment reporter Laura Chung.
The announcement marks the next step in Stan and the Nine’s production partnership, with the flagship series to feature the work of the latter’s journalists and producers from across 60 Minutes, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review, and more.
Stan executive producer Amanda Duthie will be working across the full revealed slate, collaborating with Screen Australia, the screen agencies around the country, and independent producers and directors.
Stan chief content officer Cailah Scobie said Revealed carried with it the chance to “shift the debate and impact the lives of many Australians”.
“Australians have an insatiable appetite for documentaries,” she said.
“Revealed will be a series of important stories told by the world’s best journalists and documentary filmmakers.”
Set to premiere March 27, Amongst Us – Neo Nazi Australia is spearheaded by 12-time Walkley winner and The Age investigative reporter Nick McKenzie, who was also behind the 2021 60 Minutes investigation that inspired the documentary.
The story follows an undercover individual who infiltrates the National Socialist Network – Australia’s largest far-right extremist network – and exposes the everyday Aussies at the centre of the organisation and the lengths they go to extend their influence.
Dean directs and also produces with 60 Minutes journalist and producer Joel Tozer, while editor Tania Nehme (My Name is Gulpilil) and composer Antony Partos (Animal Kingdom) round out the creative team.
Speaking at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) last week, where audiences were given a sneak peak of the project, McKenzie said the documentary not only showcased the journey of the undercover operative but the intricacies of the investigation from a journalist’s perspective.
“I think people want to see investigative journalism take place,” he said.
“We tend to not want that; you can see the final product, but Bentley convinced me to let him in to an extent.
“The doco is an amalgamation of two things; it’s our undercover penetrating a neo nazi cell like you’ve never seen before and it’s Bentley penetrating The Age’s investigative unit as you’ve never seen before.”
Dean, who has previously worked with McKenzie at 60 Minutes and joined him on stage at the AIDC, said Revealed would “really push the envelope of what’s possible in this country”.
“Revealed is a way of making documentaries that I have only dreamed of as a documentarian,” he said.
“It’s basically the potential to jump on something that was serious and happening now and give it a documentary treatment.”
Also unveiled as part of the slate was Revealed: The Price of Hate, a documentary that takes viewers back to the winter of 1993, with a journey into the world of Paul Charles Denyer, the then 21-year old who is currently serving three life sentences for the Frankston murders and who will be eligible to return to the community he terrorised in 2023.
Led by Silvester and developed with the assistance of VicScreen, the film will be directed and produced by Terry Carlyon.
There is a vastly different yet also serious tone to Reefshot, which follows the Great Barrier Reef’s most loyal citizens as they race against time to turn the tide on the danger facing the world’s largest living organism.
Led by the creators of Earth Hour, a small fleet of scientists, activists and Indigenous rangers set out to document and preserve the entire Reef by uploading data to one of the largest natural censuses undertaken in human history.
Led and executive produced by Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley, Chris Chard (Bump), Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film), and the Great Reef Census team, the film will set out to demonstrate what imagination, science and mass collective action can achieve to help Australia’s natural wonder to recover before it’s too late.
There is principal production investment by Screen Australia in association with Citizens of the Reef.
Screen Australia’s documentary head Alex West paid tribute to Stan for “bringing home-grown documentaries to our screens”.
“Screen Australia is proud to support Reefshot, which will shine a light on the spectacular environment of the Great Barrier Reef and what we can all do to save it,” he said.
Revealed: Amongst Us – Neo-Nazi Australia will premiere March 27.