Tanna, directed by Aussie documentarians Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, is Australia's nomination for the 2017 Foreign Language Oscar, as chosen by Screen Australia.
“Tanna does what all great films aspire to do: transport you out of your seat and keep you completely riveted as you dive into another world," said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.
"It’s a simple and universal story told with such impressive nuance and looks extraordinary on screen. It’s a great privilege to submit Tanna to the Academy on behalf of Australia, the filmmakers and the people of Yakel.”
The film premiered at Venice last year and is about to bow Stateside via Lightyear Entertainment, which nabbed the rights in February.
Dean and Butler said that they and the cast were "absolutely thrilled to be Australia’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award. Working so closely with the people of Yakel has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our creative lives. Together we have opened a rare window into a rapidly vanishing world full of hope and dynamism. We are so proud to bring their story to the world.”
The film pre-ems September 16 in New York followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Sony/eOne is handling home ent. The script was written by Butler and Dean in collaboration with John Collee (Master and Commander, Happy Feet), one of the principals at eOne subsidiary Hopscotch Features.
Tanna was produced by Carolyn Johnson alongside the directors.