World-class winner: Chelsea Winstanley

Posted Tuesday 08 Jun 2021

World-class winner: Chelsea Winstanley

We applaud producer/director and long-time WIFT NZ member Chelsea Winstanley who is one of this year’s Kea World Class New Zealand Award winners! 

The Award recognises a diverse range of Kiwis and friends of New Zealand who, through the impact of their work, leadership and philanthropy raise New Zealand’s mana internationally. says that "Chelsea's pride in her Māori heritage and her passion for the work of trailblazing women has given her a unique viewpoint on story-telling in the movie industry.

She's well-known for her work as co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated* film Jojo Rabbit and vampire hit, What We Do in the Shadows, but is most passionate about telling Aotearoa’s stories.

From her 2005 documentary on activist Tame Iti (Tame Iti: The Man Behind The Moko), through to Media Peace Award winning 2018 documentary, Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, Chelsea has been winning recognition for her courage, humility and aroha in her storytelling."

Chelsea, the recipient of the 2015 WIFT NZ Mana Wāhine Award, told that a huge driver behind her filmmaking was Māori story sovereignty. 

“In order for us to have true story sovereignty, we have to participate in the intellectual property and concept, from the beginning, through to production, and right through to distribution. I want to ensure that we have that sovereignty over every part, because if we don’t, we put the stories at risk,” she said.

Last year Chelsea set up LA and Aotearoa-based production company This Too Shall Pass — to tell “authentic stories with unique cultural perspectives”.

Click here to read the KEA New Zealand interview with Chelsea

*including Best Picture.