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Male and female indigenous talent reach new levels

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) / Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga would like to congratulate Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui) and Chelsea Winstanley (Ngāti Ranginui ) on becoming the first indigenous producers to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and Rā Vincent (Te Atiawa) for his second nomination for Best Achievement in Production Design Academy Award.

Chelsea Winstanley became the first indigenous female producer to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.

Waititi and Winstanley, alongside fellow producer Carthew Neal, received the nomination for Jojo Rabbit which has also received Academy Award nominations in five other categories, including Best Original Screenplay for Waititi.

Taika Waititi is an award-winning writer, director, actor, and New Zealand national treasure. He is best known for directing the critically-acclaimed blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel, as well as for writing and directing New Zealand feature films Hunt For The Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows, Boy, Eagle vs Shark and the Oscar® nominated short film, Two Cars, One Night. Waititi continues to champion New Zealand films and filmakers through his and Neal’s Piki Films label including comedies The Breaker Upperers and upcoming Baby Done.

Winstanley’s producer credits include award winning short films Night Shift and Meathead which were in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Ebony Society and Sonny, My Older Brother, and features What We do in the Shadows and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. She made her debut as a writer/director with portmanteau film, Waru. Last week it was announced that she has launched her own production company, This Too Shall Pass, to focus on telling “authentic stories with unique cultural perspectives” and will write and direct her first feature The Appeal.

Vincent received his first Academy Award nomination for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.

NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said, “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Jojo Rabbit New Zealand team - Taika, Chelsea, Carthew, Rā and the film's editor, Tom Eagles. For two New Zealanders to be the first indigenous Best Picture nominees is ground-breaking and inspiring. I also want to commend Chelsea on this significant achievement as a Māori woman. In 2017 Chelsea was among the nine women to receive the NZFC’s inaugural Māori Screen Excellence Award for her work on Waru, and it is so wonderful to see how far she has managed to develop her career, and the profile of Māori women on and behind the screen.”

The 92nd Academy Awards will be awarded on 9 February.

Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents In Association with TSG Entertainment a Defender and Piki Films Production Jojo Rabbit.

Writer director Taika Waititi (Thor: Rangarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, Jojo Rabbit, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

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