Taika Waititi is a writer, director, actor, and visual artist.
Waititi recently wrote, directed, and acted in “Boy,” his second feature which has become New Zealand’s highest grossing local film of all time. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, going on to win the Generation Grand Prix at the 2010 Berlinale, and awards at the Maui, Sydney, Melbourne and AFI Film Festivals.
Waititi has a long history of performance in theatre, film and television. Most recently he appears in the Warner Bros. superhero movie “The Green Lantern” as Tom Kalmaku. He has also appeared in NZ films and television including “Boy” and his first feature “Eagle vs Shark,” which he also wrote and directed. The script was work-shopped at the prestigious Sundance Institute Directors Lab and film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Commercially Taika’s best-known work is the Pot Noodle campaign from Mother London. It consists of three musical spots, telling stories of a pair of roommates, extolling the virtues of Pot Noodle. The campaign was such a success the agency turned it into a full length Theatrical Musical on the West End. Other spots he has made are for Heineken's "The Other Half" World cup series with Rhys Darby, and Mother New York's Sour Patch Kids Rap Video with Method Man.
Waititi’s other writer/director credits include the 2005 short “Two Cars, One Night,” which was nominated for an Academy Award® and the short film “Tama Tu,” which made the Oscars shortlist and picked up many festival prizes worldwide. He has written and directed multiple episodes of the HBO TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and TV3’s “Super City”. He is currently directing the US remake of “The Inbetweeners” for MTV.
With a strong background in painting and photography, Waititi has spent many years presenting his work in various mediums from painting and mixed media to book and album illustration, exhibiting in both New Zealand and Berlin. Waititi is of Te-Whanau-a-Apanui descent and grew up on New Zealand’s East Coast and in Wellington, attending Victoria University as an arts student. In 1999, as one half of the comedy duo Humourbeasts, with Conchord Jemaine Clement, he won the Billy T Comedy Award. In 2006, Waititi was made a New Zealand Arts Foundation 'New Generation' Laureate and in 2010 he was invited to Doha, Qatar to present a TEDx talk on creativity.