New Zealand Loops in ‘One Thousand Ropes’ for Oscars Contention

New Zealand has selected supernatural drama “One Thousand Ropes” as its contender for the foreign-language section of the Academy Awards. The Samoan- and English-language film was written and directed by Tusi Tamsese, whose directorial debut, “The Orator,” was New Zealand’s Academy Awards choice in 2011.

“One Thousand Ropes” is the story of a Samoan family living in suburban New Zealand, re-connecting and putting to rest the ghosts that haunt them. It stars Uelese Petaia, Frankie Adams, Beulah Koale and Sima Urale.

Production is by Catherine Fitzgerald and Blueskin Films. International sales are handled by Mongrel Media.

The selection was made by a committee within the New Zealand Film Commission, comprising commission CEO Dave Gibson, Niki Caro, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Ngila Dickson, Mike Horton, John Gilbert, Grant Major, Lee Tamahori and David Coulson. “Tusi’s film balances social realism and supernatural spiritualism to create an enigmatic yet powerful film,” said Gibson in a statement.

The film premiered in the Panorama section of this year’s Berlin film festival. It will next be seen in October’s London and Adelaide festivals.

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