Tanna, a Romeo and Juliet cinematic epic set on the remote jungles of the island Tanna in Vanuatu, has been described in many ways. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Extraordinary. Understanding how it came to be, one also realizes what an awe-inspiring achievement it is.
Co-filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler spent seven months, living on Tanna, in the village of Yakel. The villagers built a small house for them to live and for the first two months they did no filmmaking. Instead, they spent their time living amongst the people, getting to know the people and their vastly different culture.
Initially, there was no set story for the film. They wanted it to come from the people and their experiences. Bentley heard a song from the villagers about two lovers who defied the laws of arranged marriage. The young lovers’ story changed the way things were done there and became part of lore. The song hit a nerve and they soon realized this would be the basis for their film. “Tanna,” explains Bentley, “is a cinematic translation of the song, and the universally transformative power of love.”
Screening At FirstLight: Tue 12/20/16 at 7:30pm. Castle Theater — TICKETS
Check out the trailer as well as a making of video of Tanna: