Cannes Film Festival – Justin Kurzel’s ‘Nitram’ in competition

Based around the Port Arthur gunman, Nitram is the first Australian film in official competition in a decade.

Justin Kurzel’s controversial Nitram, inspired by the lead-up to the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, has been announced as one of the 24 films in official competition for the prestigious P’alme d’Or at Cannes. This is the first Australian film in a decade, with the last being Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty in 2011.

For Kurzel this is a satisfying answer to a public campaign which condemned the film before a single frame was shot. The film did not receive direct funding from state agencies or Screen Australia, but the MIFF Premiere Fund was involved, and it will have its Australian premiere in August at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.

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