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True-life story script wins Embassy Trust Prize

MEDIA RELEASE

11 December 2007
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True-life story script picks up Embassy Trust Prize

A film-script that tells the story of a young Samoan chief who overcomes a fear of public speaking to make a speech that changes everything is the winner of the annual Embassy Trust Prize.

The drama is the work of Tusi Tamasese, a Scriptwriting Master's student in the University's International Institute of Modern Letters. Mr Tamasese received the $1000 prize at a function at the Embassy Theatre this week for Orator, a story that is based partly on his own reservations about public speaking, and also on his experience of growing up as a young chief on Upolu Island in Samoa.

Scriptwriter of acclaimed New Zealand films Vigil and Out of the Blue, Graeme Tetley, says Mr Tamasese's script, Orator, is an assured telling of a fine story.

"This humane script is beautifully and powerfully imagined, executed and achieved," Mr Tetley says.

Victoria Scriptwriting Programme director Ken Duncum says the Embassy Trust prize recognises the best script for a feature film written for the major component of the Master's class. He says that while Mr Tusi Tamasese's script was a clear winner, the calibre of writing from the ten Master's students this year was consistently high.

"The overall quality of writing increases year by year, as does the calibre of the students that apply each year for this very competitive course," Mr Duncum says.

"This is indicative of how healthy the scriptwriting industry is becoming here and of how much more strength there now is in this art-form."

Mr Duncum says that students who complete the postgraduate programme leave the International Institute of Modern Letters with a high quality full-length script that they can then offer to producers.


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