This New Stan Original Film Will Detail The Events Leading Up To The Port Arthur Massacre
Exploring one of Australia's darkest moments in history
One of Australia's darkest chapters in Australian history, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, is set to be explored in new Stan Original film—specifically, the events that led up to the devastating act.
The latest feature film, which is currently in production in Geelong, is being directed by Justin Kurzel, the acclaimed director behind Snowtown, which was based on the true story of South Australian serial killer John Bunting, and Stan's True History of the Kelly Gang.
The film's title, NITRAM, is "Martin" spelt backwards—the name of the perpetrator of the massacre, Martin Bryant, who, at the age of 29, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Tasmanian massacre saw 35 people killed and 23 wounded and remains Australia's worst mass killing in modern history. The event led to fundamental changes to gun laws under Prime Minister John Howard, laws which are often praised worldwide and are regularly used as a roadmap in the debate around gun violence in the United States.
The cast features American actor Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Judy Davis (The Dressmaker), Essie Davis (True History of the Kelly Gang) and Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana).
Caleb Landry Jones
Many on social media questioned why the producers had cast an American to play the lead role, but it's been reported that the decision was made out of respect for the residents in and near Port Arthur. The Sydney Morning Herald further reports that filming is taking place in Victoria due to fears the subject matter “would still prove too sensitive” to be made in Tasmania.
The film will also reportedly not depict the shooting, and will also not refer to the killer by name.
NITRAM will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2021.