Written and directed by Tauti Tusi Tamasese, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) a new feature film will be a first inasmuch as it will be entirely shot in Samoa, in the Samoan language, with a Samoan cast and story. The Orator has been financed by the New Zealand Film Commission.
Tauti Tusi Tamasese wrote and directed the Samoan language short film Va Tapuia (Sacred Spaces) which screened at this year's New Zealand International Film Festival. The film tells the story of two grieving strangers who find comfort in each other in a cyclone-ravaged Samoan village. Va Tapuia will next screen at the ImagineNative International Film Festival in Toronto, and the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Produced by Catherine Fitzgerald (Rain of the Children, Event 16, Two Cars One Night) with Associate Producers Maiava Nathaniel Lees and Michael Eldred, The Orator is the story of Saili, a small man with a big heart, who must find the strength to speak up for those that he loves.
The film will star newcomers Fiaula Sanote as Saili, and Tausili Pushparaj as his wife Vaaiga. It will be shot by acclaimed NZ cinematographer Leon Narbey (No 2, Dean Spanley, Whale Rider). The first day of principal photography will be 27 October.
The Orator will be distributed in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific by Transmission Films, who most recently released BOY. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film.