Tanna Island

Tanna, Vanuatu’s first ever feature movie filmed entirely in Vanuatu, has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th globally renowned Academy Awards also known as The Oscars.

Based on a true story around forbidden love, Tanna was crafted in close collaboration with the Yakel village on the island of Tanna and tells the story of a young woman and man – also the grandson of her village chief – who fall deeply in love. However, conflict arises when the woman is promised to someone in another tribe to form an alliance. The lovers must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, and the villagers must wrestle with the idea of adapting their culture in order to preserve it.

Tanna The Movie

Directors Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, best known for the documentary First Footprints, spent seven months living amongst the remote tribe in the village of Yakel. Whilst there, the duo worked closely with the Ni-Vanuatu people to ensure the story was captured and told in a respectful and accurate way.

The 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, 26 February 2017 in Hollywood. [Read more...]

Preview the Film here

Things to do in Tanna Island

If there is one bit of advice we could offer about Tanna Island, it is this:

Take your time.

There is a lot to see and do in Tanna. From swimming in amazing, practically untouched underwater caves to snorkeling some of the best coral reefs in the South Pacific; Tanna has it all.

Visit stunningly beautiful waterfalls, see the wild horses that roam around the island or experience an ancient culture that remains largely unchanged to this day.

Tanna is best known as the home to one of Vanuatu's most popular tourist attractions, the Mount Yasur volcano and a walk to the rim of this fiery volcano certainly makes a visit to Tanna unforgettable. Considered one of the world's most accessible volcanos, Mt Yasur is just a one hour drive from Tanna's White Grass Airport followed by a short 10-minute walk to the crater rim. It is best viewed at dusk so at least one night stay in Tanna is recommended. 

Tanna Island Vanuatu

Anthropologically, Tanna is fascinating with the local culture largely unaffected by the western way of life. To experience the traditional Tannese culture there are day tours to local villages as well as custom ceremonies throughout the year like the renowned Nekowiar or Toko ceremony. There are also cult tribes to learn about including the Prince Philip cult and the John Frum's cargo cult.

If you visit on a Friday you will be privy to the weekly ceremony when John Frum members conduct rituals including raising flags and marching in unison, holding the belief that mimicking these American acts will lead to the delivery of magical cargo such as radios, jeeps, fridges and other manufactured items owned by American visitors during WWII.

Tanna Island is only a 45min flight from Port Vila and a destination you will not want to miss. Check out our flights to and from Vanuatu for more details.

You can book by calling our tours department in Port Vila on 139 or email us at tours@airvanuatu.vu.