Three-dimensional (3D) topological Dirac semimetals (TDSs) are rare but important as a versatile platform for exploring exotic electronic properties and topological phase transitions. A quintessential feature of TDSs is 3D Dirac fermions associated with bulk electronic states near the Fermi level. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we have observed such bulk Dirac cones in epitaxially grown alpha--Sn films on InSb(111), the first such TDS system realized in an elemental form. First-principles calculations confirm that epitaxial strain is key to the formation of the TDS phase. A phase diagram is established that connects the 3D TDS phase through a singular point of a zero-gap semimetal phase to a topological insulator phase. The nature of the Dirac cone crosses over from 3D to 2D as the film thickness is reduced.