Taika Waititi speaking at 2015 Sundance Film Festival
|Born||Taika David Waititi
16 August 1975
Wellington, New Zealand
|Alma mater||Victoria University of Wellington|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter and comedian|
|Years active||1999 - present|
|Known for||Eagle vs Shark, Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Green Lantern, Flight of the Conchords, Two Cars, One Night|
|Spouse(s)||Chelsea Winstanley (1 child)|
Taika Waititi (born 16 August 1975), also known as Taika Cohen, is a New Zealand film director, writer, painter, comedian, and actor.
Waititi hails from the Raukokore area of the East Coast region of the northern island of New Zealand. His father is Māori of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and his mother is Jewish. Waititi used his mother's surname, "Cohen", for some of his work in film and writing.
His first feature film, the 2007 romantic comedy Eagle vs Shark, was released in U.S. theatres for limited distribution in 2007. The film stars Waititi's then real-life partner, Loren Horsley, as Lily. The same year, he wrote and directed one episode of the TV show Flight of the Conchords and was director of another.
His second feature, Boy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010. and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. On its release in New Zealand, it received top reviews and was successful at the box office, eclipsing several records. After the success of Boy, Waititi tried to get the film's signature track "Poi E" to become number one (for the second time) on the New Zealand charts. Although his efforts succeeded in getting the track to number one on iTunes and number three on the New Zealand charts, it missed out on the top spot on the New Zealand charts.
In 2013, Waititi co-directed the New Zealand-based vampire comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows with friend and fellow comedian Jemaine Clement. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014.
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- Taika Waititi at the Internet Movie Database
- Official MySpace page
- Extensive video interview with Waititi and "Boy" co-star James Rolleston on American public radio program The Sound of Young America