The director of the Oscar-nominated film about the infamous murder of toddler James Bulger has described himself as 'the most hated man in Britain'.
Vincent Lambe's short film, Detainment, is largely a dramatisation of the police interviews with the two boys convicted of killing the child in 1993.
After luring two-year-old James away from a shopping centre in north-west England, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables brutally killed him. The pair stomped on James and broke his bones with pieces of brick before delivering a fatal blow with an iron bar.
Thompson and Venables, both aged 10 at the time of the offence, became the youngest convicted murderers in modern UK history.
After being well received at film festivals, Detainment – based on police transcripts from the case - was shortlisted for the best live-action short film at this month's Oscars.
But its success has triggered outrage, much of it against Irishman Lambe, reports the Irish Times.
Last month, James Bulger's mother, Denise Fergus, - who was not consulted by Lambe for the film - wrote to him asking him to pull his film from the Oscars. British tabloids condemned the movie and social media stoked the backlash.
And a petition demanding Detainment not be shown at this month's Oscars has attracted more than 250,000 signatures.
'I never imagined that being the most-hated man in Britain would be so time-consuming,' Lambe said.
'I have emails piling up that I can't get through. It's definitely busy and stressful.'
Lambe pointed out that critics mistakenly believe the 30-minute film deals with the young victim's torture before his death. However, the largest part of the film cuts between two police interview rooms, where investigators attempt to draw the truth.
'People are outraged. A lot of it is based on misinformation. A lot of what is said is untrue,' Lambe said.
'You read that it re-enacts the torture of James Bulger. That is why they are outraged. They think it's a very different film.'
Lambe has also defended his decision to not consult any of the families involved with the Bulger case.
'If we did contact one of the families there would be pressure to tell it the way they wanted it to be told.
'That wouldn't change what's in the transcripts, but that might change what's in the film.'
Lambe also rejected criticism that he exploited the Bulger killing for personal gain. In fact, the film was financed entirely by him.
'It all came out of my bank account,' he said.
'Everyone told me I was crazy. It just kept getting more and more expensive. I hadn't been directing for a while and I just wanted to get back to it.'