VENICE – “Tanna,” the first feature shot entirely in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, took the Venice Critics’ Week award on Friday worth Euros 5,000 ($5,600).
The well-received pic is based on dramatic events that took place on the eponymous volcanic island in 1987. “Tanna” weaves fascinating details of tribal life into a universally accessible and emotionally affecting romantic drama,” wrote Variety reviewer Richard Kuipers. Kuipers also praised the performances by non-professional actors “drawn from communities whose history is represented on screen.”
Produced by Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, and Carolyn Johnson, “Tanna” is a Bonsai Films release of a Screen Australia and Contact Films presentation of a Contact Films production.
Australian release details have yet to be announced.
The Venice official selection prizes will be announced tomorrow.