Taika Waititi is a writer, director, actor, and visual artist who, in 2020, took home the Best AdaptedScreenplay Oscar for his 6th feature film, “Jojo Rabbit”, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year. Taika also won a BAFTA award, was nominated for a Director’s Guild Award, Producer’sGuild Award, and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for his work writing, directing, and starring in Jojo. He was then nominated for two Emmy’s for two different television shows. He was nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category for co-creating FX’s “What We Do In The Shadows” (based on the feature film in which he wrote, directed, and starred) and he was also nominated for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for his role on “The Mandalorian,” a Disney+ Star Wars show for which he also directed the final episode of the season.
Prior to “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika wrote and directed several beautiful independent feature films including“Eagle vs Shark,” “Boy,” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” the latter of which was the highest grossing film in New Zealand and won a cult following unlike other films before it. But in 2017 Taika made the leap into the Marvel Universe with “Thor:Ragnarok.” Along with immense critical acclaim the film went on to become the highest grossing movie worldwide during its release and was widely regarded as one of the most beloved films in the Marvel Universe. This summer Taika will be releasing the follow-up “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Taika has also been busy directing commercials, most recently for X-Box, Pepsi, Direct TV, Old Spice, Dr. Pepper, and Apartments.com. His spot “The Letter” for Coca-Cola was nominated for a DGA Award. His 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, and the HBO television series Flight of the Conchords.
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 toDoha, Qatar to present a TEDx talk on creativity. In 2017 Taika was named New Zealander of the Year at the annual awards ceremony celebrating Kiwi culture and achievement.