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Pacific Voices


Thank you everyone for joining us for this broadcast.  We appreciated all your questions and a big thank you to Tusi, Kath, Max and to the School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, NZ.

Tusi Tamasese, Samoan born award winning writer and film director talked to Kath Akuhata-Brown about his work.

The focus of the webcast was on:

– The writer’s journey
– Indigenous storytelling
– Advice to emerging filmmakers / writers.

The audience asked questions and engaged with the speakers and one another throughout the session.

Commonwealth Writers and B3 Media worked together to deliver this webscast with special thanks to the School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, NZ.

This webcast built on the Commonwealth Shorts project. This was a partnership between Commonwealth Writers, B3 Media and CBA Worldview to give emerging writers / directors the opportunity to make a film which highlighted issues affecting them and their communities. The project culminated in a production lab for five international film makers, plus eight emerging film makers from the wider Pacific region held in Auckland, New Zealand in February 2013.



orator3-1Speaker: Tusi Tamasese

Samoan born, Wellington based writer and film director. Tusi wrote and directed his first 15 minute short, Va Tapuia (Sacred Spaces), which was screened at the 2010 NZ Film Festival and then at festivals around the world. He went on to make the Samoan language feature film, The Orator (O Le Tulafale) funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and the Samoan government. The Orator is the story of a small taro farmer who has to find the courage to defend his land and family against adversaries. The Orator had it’s World Premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2011, screened in the Spotlight Section in Sundance and was submitted to the 84th Academy Awards as New Zealand’s first Entry for the Foreign Language section.

“I was interested in the image of a chief — an orator — in Samoa: to me an orator is tall, fearless and well-spoken. I wanted to see what happens when you strip that away, and I ended up with a small person as a metaphor.”

          – Tusi Tamasese on The Orator.

orator1-1Moderator: Kath Akuhata-Brown

Kathryn Akuhata-Brown is of Ngati Porou descent, the Maori tribe that extends around New Zealand’s North Island East Coast. She is a writer, director and script editor. Kath was a development executive at the New Zealand Film Commission, the Chair of Script to Screen New Zealand, on the industry advisory board to Auckland University and currently sits on the board of Te Paepae Ataata, the Maori feature film development fund. Her background includes writing drama, documentary and docudrama for television. Kath is currently working with Producer Robin Laing on her first feature.


Watch the trailer to The Orator here