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Vanuatu Behind the Tanna Movie
As Best Foreign Language Film at the 
Oscars for 2017

he people of Vanuatu would obviously be a little bias when it comes to who should win the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars, for which it has been nominated. The truth is however that most Ni-Vanuatu will not know the Oscars are on or what they represent. However, once it is understood that “Tanna” could win on such a global stage there is much more interest in understanding what all the fuss is all about. 

While thinking about what a win for the movie might mean for Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Tourism Office team were quick to list a few of their own reasons as to why they think the Tanna Movie should be the winner. Here are the thoughts of the team.

  • The beauty of the island of Tanna is clear throughout the film. These beautiful locations are not just on Tanna but throughout Vanuatu. The landscape, the jungles and waterfalls really do look like they do in the movie.
  • The movie is true to our traditions and kustom. The dress, the language, and the lifestyle are all as you would find in the traditional villages of Vanuatu. My life is a bit easier but family, tradition and kustom are always present in Vanuatu life.
  • It makes me wonder if other people from other cultures and places are faced with the same decisions
  • They hope that I never have to make a decision like Wawa and Dain and I admire their flight for what they believe in.
  • They hope that people who see the movie will want to learn more about Vanuatu and will at some stage come and visit Vanuatu and experience for themselves our beautiful country

These thoughts will become themes and be heavily promoted in VTO's social media channels in a new #TannaForOscars campaign.

The VTO is inviting everyone to get behind Tanna's Win! by asking all Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users to upload a photo or video that they've taken on Tanna island, inline with any of the 5 themes, and add #TannaForOscars in their post. Don’t forget to also add #TannaMovie #Oscar2017, which will be shared across VTO's social media channels.

Tanna is an island located in the southern province of Vanuatu, one of 83 islands. The island is renowned as being the home of Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible volcanoes and it is behind this back drop that the movie Tanna is set.

The movie follows the village life of the Yakel Tribe who live on Tanna, where the Directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean and crew spent 7 months living with the Yakel people in order to capture this poignant story.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office Team wish everyone involved with the movie the gudfala luck on the night and hope everyone gets to enjoy the story of Wawa and Dain.  

For information on Vanuatu visit or

Click here for the official trailer: