14 September 2015
The audience award for the best film of the 30th Venice International Film Critics' Week has gone to Tanna by Victorian filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.
Set amidst the unspoilt landscapes of the Vanuatu archipelago in the South Pacific, the film is a vibrant and eccentric melodrama that tells the story of the forbidden love between Wawa and Dain, a sort of a "Romeo and Juliet" of the Tanna island, who are forced to choose between their hearts and the future of their tribe, the Yakel.
Directors Bentley Dean and Martin Butler will take home a cash prize of €5,000 ($7,900 approx).
Bentley Dean also took the FEDEORA (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean) prize for Best Director of Photography.
The FEDORA jury, comprising Dubravka Lakic (President), Rita Di Santo, Nenad Dukic and James Evans - allocates prizes to the films of the Venice International Film Critics' Week, which is an independent section within the Venice Film Festival.
The jury noted that Tanna "captures the subtleties and complexities of a culture under threat and provides the audience with a clear vision of that world."
Tanna (formerly Taboo) was supported through Film Victoria's Assigned Production Investment and Feature Film Development programs.