Samoan language film is NZ entry to Oscars

MUMBAI: 36-year old Tusi Tamasese‘s debut feature, The Orator, is New Zealand‘s first-ever entry in the foreign-language Oscar race. The film happens to be the first feature shot entirely in the Samoan language and also the first to be filmed in the South Pacific island of Upolu.

The Orator focuses on Saili, the son of the dead village chief who has been ostracized by the community because he is a dwarf. Quiet and unassuming, Saili is forced to defend his family and way of life with nothing more than words and the power of his voice. In doing so, he claims his rightful place as chief of the community.

Tamasese, who grew up on Upolu, the smaller of Samoa‘s two islands, says it was important that Samoa become a character in the film.

While he wrote the script in English and translated it back into Samoan language, he says he was careful to maintain authenticity by shooting on location with a mostly untrained local cast. Capturing the rhythms and cadence of spoken Samoan were important to the film‘s plot particularly the difference between the villagers‘ everyday musical language and the orators‘ more formal speech, according to Tamasese.

Tamasese‘s ambling, observant directing style, which he says is derived from traditional Samoan storytelling, has wowed international critics and festival audiences alike.

Orator was showered with honors upon its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, where it was named best film by the CinemAvvenire youth jury, took the top prize from Europe‘s art house cinemas association and received a special mention from the jurors of the Venice Horizons sidebar. And star Fiaula Sanote has picked up a best actor nomination from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, to be handed out in November.

Amid all of the plaudits, the soft-spoken Tamasese remains humble. He has an idea for his next project but doesn‘t want to give away details. His hope, he says, is that Orator will pave the way for a new Samoan style of filmmaking "that equally tells a Pacific Island story that the whole cinema world can understand and appreciate."

Latest Reads
MNX announces ‘King of Hollywood’

MNX, Hollywood’s wild child, launches its biggest property ‘King of Hollywood’, starting December 17, 2018, Monday to Friday @9pm.

Movies Hollywood
Movies NOW announces the 6th season of its blockbuster property ‘100 Mania’

Movies NOW, India’s favorite English movie channel, rings in the festive season with its iconic mega property ‘100 Mania’.

Movies Hollywood
Usha International associates with YRF’s Sui Dhaaga – Made in India

Usha International, one of India’s leading household consumer durables company, proudly announces its association with Sui Dhaaga - Made In India produced by Yash Raj Films and starring Bollywood heartthrobs Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma.

Movies Hindi
Kamal Haasan talks about the pathbreaking films that inspired his career

MN+, the gold class of Hollywood movies associated with Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroop 2 for Season 3 of Pathbreakers.

Movies Hollywood
No. 1 Bhojpuri Channel, ZEEL’s Big Ganga collaborates with foremost Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishan for a 7-movie deal

Over the last two decades, Bhojpuri movies industry has seen a revolution in the form of content, talent, and production.

Movies Regional
Zee Cinemalu Announces World Television Premiere of Superhit Romance-Idi Maa Prema Katha

Continuing to respect and support new-time actors, Zee Cinemalu’s World Television Premiere of Idi Maa Prema Katha stars the well-known faces from the small screen – Zee Telugu’s very own Anchor Ravi and Kalyana Vaibhogam-famed Meghana Lokesh.

Movies Regional
&pictures to air Sonakshi Sinha and Sidharth Malhotra’s spine-chilling thriller Ittefaq on Saturday, 21st July 2018 at 8pm

A CBI officer is assigned a double murder case which involves two witnesses who are also the prime suspects of the case.

Movies Hindi
Zee Action to air The Monkey King 2 on Saturday, 21st July at 8pm

Five hundred years after the Havoc in Heaven, the Tang Priest is appointed by Buddha to go to the West to fetch the sacred scriptures

Movies Hindi
Zee to launch Zee Classic HD channel

The Punit Goenka-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), is all set to launch Zee Classic's HD version.

Movies Hindi

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories