Films 2015


by Bentley Dean, Martin Butler / Australia, Vanuatu 2015 / 104' / In competition

Cast and Credits

Original title / Tanna

Directors / Bentley Dean and Martin Butler

Screenplay / Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, John Collee in collaboration with the people of Yakel

Cinematography / Bentley Dean

Editing / Tania Michel Nehme

Music / Antony Partos

Sound / Emma Bortignon

Cast / Mungau Dain (Dain), Marie Wawa (Wawa), Marceline Rofit (Selin), Chief Charlie Kahla (Chief Charlie), Albi Nangia (Shaman), Lingai Kowia (padre), Dadwa Mungau (granmother), Linette Yowayin (mother), Kapan Cook (Kapan Cook), Chief Mikum Tainakou (Imedin Chief)

Production / Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, Carolyn Johnson (Contact Films)

World sales / Visit Films

Press Attaché / Annabel Hutton

Format / DCP, color

Runtime / 104 min.


In a traditional tribal society in the South Pacific, a young girl, Wawa, falls in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. When an inter-tribal war escalates, Wawa is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, refusing her arranged fate. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers must wrestle with preserving their traditional culture and adapting it to the increasing outside demands for individual freedom. 

Bentley Dean and Martin Butler

Martin Butler e Bentley Dean

Steeped in successful documentary-making have crossed over into directing drama. They film in an unobtrusive, intimate way with Bentley operating the camera and Martin recording sound. In 2009 they collaborated on Contact, which won the AFI award for best feature documentary, the Prime Minister’s History Prize, Best Feature Documentary at the Film Critic Circle of Australia and Best Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. In 2013 they completed First Footprints, a landmark series on the ancient history of Australia, winning the Walkley Award, ATOM award and NSW Premier’s History Prize.