NATUMAN: ‘Well wishes’ and Congratulations for Oscars 2017 nomination to Tanna Producers

The Announcement:

As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Tourism, it is a proud moment to see the “Tanna” movie promote Vanuatu culture to the audiences around the world. The Oscars 2017 nomination is not only a big achievement for the Australian Film Industry but also for Vanuatu especially as it directly promotes our traditions and culture and is home to the film ‘Tanna’.

Screen Australia congratulates Australian Nominees for Academy Awards

I take this opportunity on behalf of Vanuatu Government and People to convey our deepest gratitude, appreciation and want to say ‘Tenkyu Tumas’ to you the producers of “Tanna” for your insight to choose the island of Tanna in the Tafea Province of Vanuatu as the site and location for the movie.

The inspiration that directed you to the island of Tanna and which made you to choose and decided on what you have produced can only be from God our Creator as it has now presented the beauty of this country to the world.

Vanuatu is only a small country in the Pacific Ocean with a population of only 285,000 and we are classified by the United Nations as a least developed country. Our country has also been declared happiest place on this planet two times by the Happy Planet Index and we have also been categorised as the most vulnerable country in the world by the World Risk Index report of the last five years.

For the huge efforts, I extend a big ‘Tankyu Tumas’ for your journey to Venice in 2015 where the movie was shown in the 72nd Venice International Film Festival and where it won the Audience Award Pietro Barzisa and for that I congratulate you the producers and also recognize the huge impact the “Tanna” movie has provided to Vanuatu especially for Tourism.

As a Member of Parliament for the Island of Tanna, it is a wonderful thing to be able to watch a movie based on a true cultural story from my home island of Tanna. The tale is of two lovers who did not want to follow the traditional ways of arranged marriage.

Arranged marriages was the norm in the past on Tanna because it was used by Chiefs and parents as a strategy to ensure security for the land and future of the children mainly because in our culture we are born on the land, live of the land and when we die we are buried in the land. Future generations will continue to live and survive on the land where our ancestors were buried. This was important then because our islands are only small and so security for the land is paramount.

With great satisfaction to the achievements of “Tanna” I again say Tenkyu tumas to you the producers – Bentley Dean, Martin Butler and Carolyn Johnson, for the movie and also to you Mungau Dain and Marie Wawa for your role as the main actors in the movie because you have all made the Government and people of Vanuatu proud.

I am calling on the population of Vanuatu and all friends of Vanuatu throughout the world to support this journey to the Oscars through social media and other forms of communication.

I would like to congratulate you the producers of ‘Tanna’ for the nomination for ‘Best Foreign Language’ Film, and extend ‘well wishes’ to you all at the Oscars 2017 and may God our Creator continue to bless you on this important journey and may he deliver you safely and proud to the Oscars, as we the people of Vanuatu are with you all the way.

Joe Y Natuman (MP)
Deputy Prime Minister, and,
Minister of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business
Government of the Republic of Vanuatu