Tusi Tamasese

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Tusi Tamasese (born in 1975 or 1976 in Samoa[1]) is a Samoan New Zealander film director.

He is of high chiefly descent, of the Tupua Tamasese lineage.[1]

He came to New Zealand at the age of 18 with the intention to go to university, but, lacking a scholarship, began by working "picking tomatoes". He eventually did study at the New Zealand Film School, at the Victoria University of Wellington and at the University of Waikato; he obtained a bachelor's degree in social sciences, and a Master of Arts degree in creative writing. He now lives in Wellington.[1] [2]

He wrote and directed his first short film, Va Tapuia (Sacred Spaces), which was "screened at the 2010 NZ Film Festival and then at festivals around the world". He went on to make Samoa's first ever feature film, The Orator (O Le Tulafale), which was screened in 2011 and submitted to the 84th Academy Awards. It was funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and the Samoan government.[1] He described it as "my image of what I see of growing up in Samoa".[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Barlow, Helen (8 September 2011). "Tusi Tamasese: A voice from Samoa". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Orator", ABC 4, 20 January 2012
  3. ^ "The Orator: Sounds of silence". The New Zealand Herald. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.