Taika Waititi [Te-Whānau-a-Apanui] acted in movies Scarfies and Snakeskin, TV show The Strip (sometimes under the credit Taika Cohen), and appeared on stage as a stand-up comedian. Turning his creative energies towards directing, he made Oscar-nominated short Two Cars, One Night, and Tama Tū, based on the experiences of The Māori Battalion in WWII. He has gone on to great success directing (and sometimes appearing in) feature films.
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.
Nancy Brunning's television debut was in the first episode of Shortland Street as series regular Nurse Jaki Manu. She turned in a memorable performance as gang girl Tania in What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, and played a fun-loving lesbian in When Love Comes. Brunning has appeared in a number of TV projects including Mataku and Fish Skin Suit. As well as acting, she also directed the WWII-era short Journey to Ihipa.