Stan Is Set to Release a Movie About the Events Leading Up To the Port Arthur Massacre
A Stan Original film based on the 1996 Port Arthur massacre is currently in production in Geelong, The Age revealed today. The movie, titled NITRAM, is directed by Justin Kurzel and written by Shaun Grant, the team behind the critically acclaimed Snowtown, based on the crimes of South Australian serial killer John Bunting, and Stan’s True History of the Kelly Gang.
“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 possibility of parole.
35 people died and 23 were wounded in the massacre in Tasmania. It was Australia’s worst massacre in modern history and led to fundamental changes to gun laws under Prime Minister John Howard — laws which are often praised and seen as a potential blueprint in the debate about gun violence in the US.
The scripted feature film aims to explore the moments leading up to the massacre to try to figure out how and why the tragedy happened. It stars American actor Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as a version of Martin (the character will reportedly not be named Martin Bryant), and Australian actors Judy Davis as his mother, Anthony LaPaglia as his father, and Essie Davis as a wealthy woman who becomes the man’s friend.
The Age reports that the decision was made to film in Victoria instead of Tasmania due to the sensitivity of the movie’s subject matter and that the film will not depict the murders themselves.
Nick Forward, Stan’s Chief Content Officer, said today that the streaming service has “complete faith in the NITRAM team’s creative vision and ability to handle the film’s subject matter with sensitivity and respect”.
NITRAM will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2021, before a brief theatrical run and its streaming launch on Stan.