“The Hunter” brings Willem Dafoe back to Tasmania

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An international audience will soon be treated to spectacular footage of Tasmania’s diverse landscape when The Hunter – a movie filmed and set in the state and starring Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe – opens at the Toronto International Film Festival beginning Thursday (September 8).

Three weeks later the Academy Award nominee will return to the island to celebrate the film’s Australian release with a red carpet screening at the State Cinema in North Hobart on September 28.

Screen Tasmania director Karena Slaninka believes The Hunter has the potential to take the region’s worldwide reputation to a new level.

With stars such as Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor, Slaninka says: “It gives it exposure internationally and it will make people start to sit up and take notice of Tasmania and say ‘wow, we’ve never seen this place before on screen’.”

“It’s got a different tone and different mood to the rest of Australia. It’s not suntans and bikinis, its beautiful old-growth forests and it’s moody and atmospheric and full of mystery,” she told The Mercury.

The Australian-produced psychological thriller tells the story of a mercenary sent to the island wilderness by a European company with the task of hunting down the last surviving Tasmanian tiger.

Filming took place in a variety of stunning and rugged regions such as Maydena, the Florentine Valley and Deloraine.

Speaking on location last year, producer Vincent Sheehan said the storyline was distinctly Tasmanian and that it could not have been brought to life anywhere else in the world.

”This wilderness is quite unique and extraordinary and unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the world or even on the mainland,” Sheehan said.

The distinctly local flavour has also been influenced by the fact around 40 per cent of the crew were Tasmanian – a proud career achievement for many.


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