Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi
Te Whānau-ā-Apanui/Māori
Date of birth
16 Aug 1975
Place of birth
Ōpōtiki/Bay of Plenty (region)/New Zealand
Taika David Cohen was born in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, later raised in the remote township of Raukokore, East Cape, before returning to Wellington. Waititi has a varied and dynamic creative practice that spans the visual arts, film, creative writing and theatre. While best known for his filmmaking, he is also a self-taught painter and illustrator, identifying with the forms of outsider art.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington in 1997. That same year, he collaborated with Jemaine Clement, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winning the Spirit of the Fringe Award in 1998 and the Billy T. Award in 1999.

Waititi has gone on to establish a highly successful career in film and television, his credits including: *Two Cars, One Night* (2003, nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2005 Academy Awards); *Eagle vs Shark* (2007); *Boy* (2010); *What We Do in the Shadows* (2014); *Hunt for the Wilderpeople* (2016); *Thor: Ragnarok* (2017); and *Jojo Rabbit* (2019, winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2020 Academy Awards).