The Orator

O Le Tulafale

Shot exclusively on the Island of Upolu in Samoa and in the local language, The Orator constructs a moving drama about courage, forgiveness and love. The leader of the story is Saili, who lives a simple and humble life with his beloved wife and their daughter, in a remote, traditional village. Forced to protect his land and family, Saili has to overcome his fears and find the courage to defend his loved ones.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Tusi Tamasese
Script: Tusi Tamasese
Cinematography: Leon Narbey
Editing: Simon Price
Sound: Tim Prebble
Music: Tim Prebble
Actors: Fa‟afiaula Sagote,Tausili Pushparaj, Salamasina Mataia, Ioata Tanielu
Production: O Le Tulafale, New Zealand Film Commision
Producers: Catherine Fitzgerald
Costumes: Kirsty Cameron
Production Design: Rob Astley
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: New Zealand, Samoa
Production Year: 2011
Duration: 111΄
Contact: New Zealand Film Commission
Awards/Distinctions: Special Mention (Orizzonti Competition), C.I.C.A.E. Award, CinemAvenire Award – Venice IFF 2011, Audience Award – Brisbane IFF 2011, Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound Design in a Feature Film – New Zealand Film and TV Awards 2012

Cultural Advisors: Manu Asafo Maugatai, Tuitautai Henry Tamasese

Film courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission

Tusi Tamasese

Tusi Tamasese spent 18 years in his native Samoa, before moving to New Zealand and completing a double major in film and political science. After shooting the 2009 short film Sacred Places in Samoa with private funding, he directed his debut feature The Orator, which was made entirely in the Samoan language. This tale of an outsider in conflict with his community scored multiple honors at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. Tamasese followed it with the New Zealand-set father-and-daughter drama One Thousand Ropes; the tale of family and redemption was invited to premiere at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.


2009 Sacred Places (short)
2011 The Orator
2017 One Thousand Ropes