Samoan film to premier at Berlin Film Festival

A Samoan film is preparing for a huge festival debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

One Thousand Ropes, a new film from director Tusi Tamasese, is set to premiere at the prestigious Panorama section of Berlin Film Festival.

It will be just the third New Zealand movie to have the honour. The last New Zealand flick to make it there was ‘No. 2’ in 2006.

 “It is a great honour to be selected in Panorama Special for the world premiere of our film, and thrilling to be returning to Berlin, where I attended the Talent Campus in 2010, and where The Orator screened in 2013,” Tamasese said in a statement.

 “A world premiere in such a prestigious selection is a great tribute to the extraordinary work of our generous cast and crew, several of whom we have worked with since our very first films - Leon Narbey, Tim Prebble, Chris Todd, Mike Hedges, Clare Burlinson and Annie Collins.”

Tamasese’s last movie, ‘The Orator’, screened at the festival in 2013.

Starring Frankie Adams and Tuiasau Uelese Petaia, ‘One Thousand Ropes’ follows a father reconnecting with his estranged daughter, struggling to balance his desire to form a relationship with his wanting to get revenge against the man who beat her.

It is a deeply moving film about connections, redemption and new beginnings.

It is about a father reconnecting with his youngest daughter and together putting to rest the ghosts that haunt them.

She arrives vulnerable: badly beaten and heavily pregnant. He struggles with the inner temptation and the encouragement from the men in his life, to take revenge in the way he knows best on one hand, and on the other, to build the new family and companionship so desperately missing from his life.

The trailer teases a dark and personal drama, with intense dialogue and dream sequences. It is a bilingual movie, with both English and Samoan dialogue.

The Berlin Film Festival starts on February 9 in Berlin. 

One Thousand Ropes will air in the Panorama section alongside Sundance hits 

‘Berlin Syndrome’ and ‘Call Me by Your Name’.

Michael Eldred, General Manager of Transmission Films New Zealand comments: “Transmission Films are proud to continue our association with Tusi and Catherine following the wonderful experience of The Orator in 2011. The Berlin Film Festival Panorama selection of ONE THOUSAND ROPES confirms our conviction that Tusi is one of the most innovative & exciting voices in NZ film making today.”

 ‘One Thousand Ropes’ is released in New Zealand on March 23.

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