Cian Elyse White is what you could call an 'Actor’s Director' — as she says, "trust your actors… if you’re not getting what you need from your actors, you miscast." A graduate of drama school Toi Whakaari, White began her screen career as an actor, and her credits include 800 Words (2015-18), Cousins (2020), and Vegas (2021). Now moving into writing and directing, White is interested in representing Te Ao Māori and wāhine Māori on-screen, as reflected in her short films Daddy’s Girl/Kōtiro (2019), and PIIKSI/Huia (2021). White chats to ScreenTalk about trusting your gut, living a life outside of your craft and learning how to communicate with cinematographers.
The more experiences you gain ... outside of the world of filmmaking, storytelling, the more those experiences will inform you and your stories, and the way you're able to articulate those stories.– Cian Elyse White