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Hero image for Cian Elyse White: storytelling that centres wāhine Māori

Cian Elyse White: storytelling that centres wāhine Māori

ScreenTalk Interviews – 2021

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.

This video was first uploaded on 24 September 2021, 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 by Rosie Howells, Camera by Chris Terpstra, Directed and Edited by Morgan Hopkins

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