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Lee Tamahori

Director [Ngāti Porou]

Lee Tamahori worked his way up the filmmaking ranks, before debuting as a feature director with 1994's Once Were Warriors. The portrait of a violent marriage became the most successful film in Kiwi history, and won international acclaim. Between Warriors and 2016's Mahana, Tamahori has worked mainly overseas, where he has directed everything from The Sopranos to 007 blockbuster Die Another Day.

It didn't change the nature of the society, but I said from the get-go, 'If one woman gets out of an abusive relationship because of this picture, I'll be a happy man.' Lee Tamahori on Once Were Warriors, in a March 2008 interview on website The Hollywood Interview