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The Orator off to speak in Oz

New Zealand’s submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) began its theatrical release in Australia yesterday on the back of strong reviews and support from local film critics. The film premiered there last week with sold out screenings at the Brisbane International Film Festival.
 
Reviewing the film at the Festival, Hollywood Reporter’s Megan Lehmann wrote “Tamasese finds eloquent voice with The Orator, a beautifully nuanced debut.” Julian Wood, wrote in Film Ink magazine, “… what a fantastic cinematic eye he is instantly revealed to possess. From the early sequences of big heavy tropical rain drops plopping onto broad waxy leaves, we know that this is a director who really knows their way around a camera.”
 
Later this month the film’s lead actor, Fa’afiaula Sanote, will attend the 5th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs) in Australia as a finalist in the Best Performance by an Actor award. The Awards, an initiative of the Queensland Government with UNESCO and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, invites feature length film submissions from over 40 Asia-Pacific countries.
 
And Writer/Director Tusi Tamasese’s script for The Orator has been short-listed for the Best Feature Film Script category of the Script Writers Awards of New Zealand which will be announced in Auckland on the 24th of November. Last week the film’s producer, Catherine Fitzgerald, was named Independent Producer of the Year at the annual Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand (SPADA) Industry Conference.
 
Now in its seventh week of release in New Zealand, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) remains in the top 20 chart of films at the local box office. The film is New Zealand’s first ever submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film consideration and will screen to Academy members at the Samuel Goldwyn theatre in Hollywood on Friday, 18th November.   
 
The Orator is financed by the New Zealand Film Commission with assistance from the Government of Samoa. It is being released in New Zealand and Australia by Transmission Films. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film.