Premier Peter Gutwein says he was "highly uncomfortable" to learn a new film was in production about the perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre, but that there is little the state government could do to stop it from being released.
The film, directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown), has the working title NITRAM, will be filmed in Geelong and will star Caleb Landry-Jones, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia and Essie Davis.
News of the production has been met with outrage from community leaders and survivors of the massacre, who have expressed concern that the film could open up old wounds.
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In Question Time in Tasmania's House of Assembly yesterday, Mr Gutwein said news of the production had hit a "raw nerve" in the state.
"I feel highly uncomfortable about this," he said. "I think many Tasmanians will."
"However, whilst being uncomfortable with it, this is a production that is not being shot in Tasmania.
"We have very few if any options in terms of being able to limit this production taking place.
"I would hope that the filmmakers would be sensitive in the way that they craft this particular production."
Arts Minister Elise Archer said she received correspondence from the production company behind the film in December last year. The company requested a meeting with her, which she declined.
"The filmmakers were strongly encouraged by Screen Tasmania to treat the subject matter sensitively," Ms Archer said in a statement.
Labor leader and Lyons MHA Rebecca White encouraged those making the film to consult the survivors of the massacre and the frontline workers who responded to the tragedy.
Brian Mitchell, the federal member for Lyons, said he had "deep misgivings" about the film and said he feared it would "reopen still healing wounds".
"It may have been 24 years but people on the [Tasman Peninsula] live with it every day," he said.
"One of my biggest concerns is however sensitively the film-makers attempt to be they invariably are focusing on the shooter, when so much effort has been put into anonymising him and focusing on the victims and the community.
"This threatens to undermine all that has been done."
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