the Bauvhal language film Tanna will compete with other non-English language films for a place on the slate at the 2017 Academy Awards. It follows in the footsteps of eight other films Australia has submitted in the category since 1996, including Ten Canoes, Samson and Delilah, and The Rocket.
Directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler and based on a true story, Tanna takes us into the world of the Tanna people of Vanuatu. A completely non-professional cast was drawn from the village of Yakel to tell the tale of two young lovers who defy the age-old custom of arranged marriage to be together.
Tanna has been acclaimed at film festivals around the world, winning plaudits at the Venice Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival, and winning Best Direction, Feature Film, at the Australian Director’s Guild Awards.
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason observed, “Tanna does what all great films aspire to do: transport you out of your seat and keep you completely riveted as you dive into another world. It’s a simple and universal story told with such impressive nuance and looks extraordinary on screen. It’s a great privilege to submit Tanna to the Academy on behalf of Australia, the filmmakers and the people of Yakel.”