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Hero image for Julian Arahanga: From acting in Once Were Warriors to directing Songs from the Inside...

Julian Arahanga: From acting in Once Were Warriors to directing Songs from the Inside...

Interview – 2016

Actor turned producer/director Julian Arahanga made his screen debut at age 11, starring alongside Annie Whittle in short film The Makutu on Mrs Jones. He shot to fame playing novice gang member Nig Heke in landmark movie Once Were Warriors, then went on to act in a number of films including Broken English. Since setting up his own production company Awa Films, Arahanga has directed and produced TV series Songs from the Inside and acclaimed documentary Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story.

In this ScreenTalk, Arahanga talks about:

  • The privilege of working with actor Annie Whittle, kaumātua Sonny Waru, and Arahanga's father Larry Parr on The Makutu on Mrs Jones
  • How everything in movie Once Were Warriors was extreme, and making the film was like 'riding a bull in a rodeo'
  • Training for the role of Nig in the film
  • Feeling a self-imposed pressure while starring in movie Broken English
  • Being a little disappointed his character was killed off in What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
  • Getting some intriguing direction from Ian Mune
  • How the 'beautiful' and quirky script for Fish Skin Suit drew him into the project
  • Being spellbound by the Māori war hero featured in documentary Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story
  • The challenge of convincing prison authorities to back Songs from the Inside

This video was first uploaded on 29 March 2016, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.

Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside

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Thumbnail image for The Makutu on Mrs Jones

The Makutu on Mrs Jones