New Zealand Film and Television School graduate Tusi Tamasese has taken away several awards at the inaugural Sorta Unofficial New Zealand Film Awards held in Auckland earlier this week.
Tamasese’s film ‘The Orator’ walked away with eight awards from its 11 nominations. Cleaning up Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Costume Design.
‘The Orator’ a Samoan-New Zealand contemporary, dramatic feature film, shot on the island of Upolu in Samoa, is all about a bullied dwarf standing up for himself and his family. It’s a story of love honour and courage; it is Tamasese’s debut feature film where non-professional actors were used.
The film has screened internationally at prestigious film festivals since its release in 2011. It has picked up a raft of international awards also, winning Audience Award in Brisbane, Special Mention at Venice, Art Cinema Awards in Italy and many more.
This week’s awards were judged by a panel of overseas film makers, festival programmers and journalists.
The New Zealand Film and Television School is owned by Whitireia New Zealand Limited. It is the only industry-run film school in New Zealand and offers a hands-on, practical, one year Certificate in Introduction to Film and Television Production.