A screening by the Whanganui Film Society will raise much-needed funds for the Unicef Samoa Measles Emergency Appeal.

The society is having a public screening of Samoan feature film The Orator to raise money.

The film, directed and written by Tusi Tamasese, is the first Samoan feature film shot entirely in Samoa and in the Samoan language.

Whanganui Film Society president David Mulholland says the film will captivate the audience.


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"It's a beautiful film. Visually, the film is stunning and culturally the film is fascinating. It's culturally educative, I learned a lot of things about the Samoan culture which I thought were beautiful."

Mulholland said the society was excited to show the movie after watching A Thousand Ropes, directed by Tusi Tamasese.

"He's a really good director."

The film is being shown as part of the society's year-long programme which features 34 films.

"Having decided to show the film, the society thought it would be good to donate all the proceeds to the appeal, given the measles crisis which hasn't gone away."

Unicef head of donor engagement Aaron Martin said there were 5697 measles cases in Samoa currently.

"The death toll is 83, with tragically most of these children under 5 years old."


He said Unicef continued to work with the Samoan Government.

"We've made incredible progress over the last few months, reaching and protecting children, but more needs to be done over the coming months to solidify the response."

The money at the fundraiser will go towards providing vaccines and essential medical equipment such as syringes, vaccine carriers and tents used in vaccination clinics.

"Further down the track a second round of measles vaccinations will need to be completed to further increase immunisation rates and coverage.

"And of course we are working to improve the information and guidance available to Samoan families around the importance of getting their children immunised, with the aim of supporting the Samoan Government to strengthen its routine vaccination programme in the long term."

Mulholland said it was important to support causes like Unicef.

"Unicef have strong credibility as an aid agency. Their administration costs are low compared to what they receive. They have a very strong record of successfully delivering programmes to support communities."

"We are asking people to give generously and, in exchange, they get to watch an absolutely enthralling film."

The society was asking people to make a donation of $10.

"Every bit counts."

All proceeds will go to the Unicef Samoa Measles Emergency Appeal.

People are also welcome to join the Whanganui Film Society.

"It's good value. We have a year-long programme featuring 34 incredibly diverse films and if you buy a year ticket, it works out to be less than $3 per film."

He said the society was a group of like-minded people.

"It's a great way to meet people and make friends."

• Whanganui Film Society, The Orator fundraiser: Monday, February 24, 7pm, Davis Theatre, Watt St.