Thursday, December 1, 2011

Samoan Feature Film Possible Academy Awards Contender

The first Samoan featured film of this magnitude Orator (O le Tulafale) premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2011. The film was shot entirely in Samoa (Upolu) in the native language.  Another first, New Zealand submitted this beautiful moving picture in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category.  Subsequently, it has been selected as an Oscar contender in this category.   View portions of the film and commentary from Producer/Director/Cast on You Tube:
On October 13, AMPAS announced that 63 countries had been accepted to participate in the competition for the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, including a first-time submission from New Zealand. [Source: Wikipedia: List of submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film]
New Zealand Film Commission CEO Graeme Mason, who is on the AMPAS NZ selection committee, said: “This is the first time New Zealand has submitted a film for consideration for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards.  The selection of this film by a committee of such calibre is a further endorsement of the special qualities of this beautiful film and could provide a terrific platform for Tusi’s career as a filmmaker.”  [Source: The Hollywood Reporter, 9/28/2011]
Orator opened to theaters in New Zealand and Apia in October 2011.  No dates or information on a U.S. release.  For the curious at heart, more details on the film available at

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