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Australia, 2009 (MIFF 2009, Homegrown)

Director: Jonathan Auf Der Heide

“No man can tell what he will do when driven by hunger.” - Alexander Pearce

In 1822, eight convicts escape the brutal penal settlement of Macquarie Harbour, only to find the wilds of Tasmania a much crueller reality. As the provisions run out and the men fight to stay alive, only one option remains.

Delving into Australia's dark heritage, Van Diemen's Land is a retelling of the unsettling tale of our most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce, whose confessions were so shocking that the authorities at the time refused to believe them.

Based on director Jonathan Auf Der Heide's own short film Hell's Gates, which won multiple MIFF shorts awards in 2008, Van Diemen's Land is a pitch-black tale where nature is as unforgiving as man.

D Jonathan Auf Der Heide P Maggie Miles S Jonathan Auf Der Heide, Oscar Redding Dist Madman Entertainment L English, Gaelic w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2009

See also...

Hell's Gates

Australia, 2007
The true story of Alexander Pearce, Australia's most notorious convict, and his infamous journey into the wilds of Van Diemen's Land. ... More »


Catch the best shorts of the Festival at the red-carpet awards night on Friday 7 August, 7pm at Greater Union cinemas. ... MIFF features one of the most highly regarded short film competitions in the… More »


Australia, 2013
Seventeen of our finest creative talents take on the bestselling short story collection in Australian history: Tim Winton's The Turning. ... In The Turning, Tim Winton turned his peerless eye for the… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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