A group of transported convicts, suffering brutal treatment at the Sarah Island penal settlement on Van Diemens Land, escape into the Tasmanian wilderness in hopes of reaching the settlements to the east. Their enthusiasm and bravado soon give way to hunger, which saps their strength and causes them to despair. Former urban dwellers, the English, Irish and Scottish convicts realise that not only are they lost, but they do not even know how to hunt or fish. The oppressive nature of landscape becomes the setting for murder, as hunger forces the group to turn to cannibalism, killing and eating the members of the group one by one. The men do all in their power to keep moving, watch their back and avoid sleep, lest they be the next meal.
Van Diemen's Land was released to Australian cinemas on 24 September 2009, and was rated MA15+ for "strong violence and coarse language". It received mostly positive reviews, and as of 21 December 2014 it earned an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews with an average 6.6/10 rating. During the opening weekend, the film grossed $39,939 at the 9 theatres it played ($4,438 average).