Oscar 2017 nomination for ‘Tanna’

PORT VILA, 26 JANUARY 2017 (VANUATU DAILY POST) — Congratulations and well wishes continue to pour in to the producers of the movie ‘Tanna’ from all over the region and the world after the movie was nominated for the 2017 Oscar for the best foreign language film, the first for Vanuatu and the Pacific island countries region.

“Congratulations to Bentley, Martin, JJ, Dain, Wawa, Selin and everyone who helped make this happen! It’s a huge and well deserved—achievement,” one message read after news of the nomination was received Tuesday night.


Tanna was co-directed by Australian filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler and shot in Yakel village near Lenakel on Tanna in Vanuatu. This nomination is Australia’s first for the best foreign language film category, and most of the dialogue in the film is in the south-west Tannese dialect, Navhal.

“They’re proud of the fact that it’s their film, made in their language, and it’s been acknowledged in this way — they can’t wait to share it with more people,” Dean told the Pacific Beat.

In a first for film in Vanuatu and the Pacific islands region, the film Tanna, shot on location in Vanuatu using a local, untrained cast of actors, has been officially nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“We are just looking forward to hitting the red carpet with as many people as we can get from the movie over there and just celebrating like crazy — it’s a dream come true,” Dean told Pacific Beat.

The film about two villagers whose romance sparks a war between tribes was based on real events on the island of Tanna, and was the first feature to be shot in Vanuatu.

It was also a first-time effort for the filmmakers, who had never directed a feature film before.

“We were sort of in a similar boat, and so to get to the point where we’re nominated for an Oscar is a bit ridiculous, frankly,” Dean told ABC’s Pacific Beat programme.

It’s not the first international nod for the film, which has been making waves on the international film festival circuit. Tanna screened at the Venice International Film Festival in 2015, where it picked up the Audience Award Pietro Barzisa, the Pacific Beat reports.

It also won an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for Best Original Music Score last month. [/restrict]