Samoan Language Feature a First For NZFC

Posted Tuesday 19 Oct 2010

The Film Commission recently announced that production will commence 27 October on The Orator. The film, written and to be directed by Samoan-born and raised Tauti Tusi Tamasese, will be his feature debut and be the first NZFC-funded film to be shot entirely in Samoa and in Samoan.

NZFC CEO Graeme Mason said, "The themes in The Orator are universal - love, courage, personal adversity and honour.  New Zealand has an extremely strong connection with Samoa and we are excited to be involved in the production of this film and the discovery of Samoan tradition and values by the New Zealand theatrical audience."Produced by Catherine Fitzgerald (Rain of the Children, Event 16, Two Cars One Night) with Associate Producers Maiava Nathaniel Lees and Transmission's Michael Eldred, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) is the story of Saili, a small man with a big heart, who must find the strength to speak up for those that he loves. The film will star newcomers Fiaula Sanote as Saili, and Tausili Pushparaj as his wife Vaaiga.

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Misa Tellefoni said "The film will bring the finest aspects of traditions of our Samoan culture into the international spotlight.  It is a beautiful and poignant love story that will provide a moving tribute to the magnificent splendour of Samoa and our Samoan people."