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An Academy approved Selection Committee announced today that New Zealand Film Commission funded Samoan language feature film, The Orator (O Le Tulafale), written and directed by debut feature film maker Tusi Tamasese, has been submitted for consideration as Best Foreign Language Film for the 84th Academy Awards®, to be held in Hollywood on the 28th of February 2012.


The Academy invites countries to select and submit its best foreign language motion picture for consideration. Selection of the picture must be made by a committee that includes esteemed artists from the country’s motion picture industry. The New Zealand Oscar Selection Committee is composed of Sir Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Ngila Dickson, Grant Major, Keisha Castle-Hughes, David Coulson, Graeme Mason and John Toon.

This is the latest honour recently accorded to The Orator since its world premiere earlier this month at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival where it screened in the Orizzonti Competition section of the Festival. At the Festival’s closing ceremony, The Orator received a Special Mention from the Orizzonti Jury; the Art Cinema Award from the CICAE Jury of the Festival; and the CinemAvvenire Best Film – Il cerchio non è rotondo Award from the Jury of the Associazione Centro Internazionale CinemAvvenire.

Making the announcement Graeme Mason said “This is the first time New Zealand has submitted a film for consideration for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards®. The selection of this film by a committee of such calibre is a further endorsement of the special qualities of this beautiful film and could provide a terrific platform for Tusi’s career as a filmmaker.”

Variety reviewer, Leslie Felperin, described The Orator as “a compelling drama… that marks an auspicious feature debut for writer-helmer Tusi Tamasese.”

The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards® will be announced in Hollywood on Tuesday. 24th January 2012.

The Orator has been financed by the New Zealand Film Commission with assistance from the Government of Samoa. It is being released in New Zealand by Transmission Films, on Thursday, 6th October. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film.

To view the full list of honoured films at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, please go to:

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