2017 Oscars Challenge: [13] “Tanna” – Best Foreign Language Feature

“TANNA”
Australia; Directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler


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tanna-poster

Directed by: Bentley Dean and Martin Butler
Screenplay by: Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, and John Collee
Cinematography by: Bentley Dean
Music by: Antony Partos
Distributed by: Lightyear Entertainment
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Country: Australia


FILM SYNOPSIS: On the tiny Pacific island of Tanna in the Vanuatu archipelago, the younger members of two native tribes are growing restless at the restrictions of their cultural traditions. Especially upset are Wawa and Dain, whose secret plan to wed is thwarted by rival chiefs, and rather than submit, the young couple disappears into the jungle.


What’s its competition? “Tanna” impresses on all levels and the fact that this is not the front-runner for Best Foreign Language Feature, let alone got zero attention last year is baffling. You are unlikely to see any film remotely even close to this one from 2016 or any year recently, especially that isn’t a documentary. “Tanna” is filmed on location on the island of Tanna in the South Pacific, filmed using all real tribes people, and telling a story as it happened to the actual village. And before you scoff at the fact that the entire cast is made of people who are not actors, these tribesmen are extremely well versed and actually deliver some of the most memorable acting for non-actors that I think I’ve ever seen. To that degree, this is light years ahead of anything else nominated because they truly bring it whereas everything else has actors who do this for a living and from what I’ve seen thus far, none of them hold a candle to the cast of “Tanna.” Perhaps this was viewed as a gimmick film, using real locations and real people, but even the story, which feels like a version of “Romeo and Juliet” at times, and the cinematography, which produces some of the most elegant and close-up images of a volcano that I think I’ve ever seen. You do not see films like this very often and for that, it should have gotten more attention. But “Toni Erdmann” remains the odds-on favorite with the pundits, for some reason or another.

Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Australia.


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// Produced by Carolyn Johnson, Bentley Dean, and Martin Butler //
// Directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler //
// Dated Viewed: Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 // STREAMING // 34 films – 20 days //

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