Debut writer/director Tusi Tamasese’s Samoan language film, The Orator (O Le Tulafale), has been selected to screen in the Spotlight section of the 2012 Sundance International Film Festival.   The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from 19th – 29th January in and around Park City, Utah.  The Festival is widely regarded as the premiere US showcase for American and international independent film.

The Orator (O Le Tulafale) is New Zealand’s first ever submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2012 Academy Awards.  The film premiered in the Orizzonti section of the Venice International Film Festival receiving a Special Mention from the Orizzonti jury; the Art Cinema Award from the CICAE jury of the Festival and the CinemAvvenire Best Film Award from the jury of the Associazione Centro Internazionle CinemAvvenire.

More recently, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) script was shortlisted for the Best Feature Film Script Award of the Script Writers Awards of NZ, and lead actor F’afiaula Sanote was a finalist for the Best Performance by an Actor Award at the 5th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The film was honoured with the Audience Award at the Brisbane International Film Festival.

Introduced in 2010, the Spotlight section is described by the Festival as a tribute to the cinema we love, “Regardless of where these impressive films have played throughout the world, the Sundance Film Festival is thrilled to light a marquee for them.”

The Orator (O Le Tulafale) has been financed by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) with assistance from the Government of Samoa.  It is currently in theatrical release in New Zealand and Australia with Transmission Films.   NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales for the film.

For more about the Sundance Film Festival go here:

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