18 Sep 2021

Tanea Heke: Cousins star ushering in new wave of storytellers

From Saturday Morning, 11:35 am on 18 September 2021
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Photo: Sean Coyle

It’s been a big year for actor Tanea Heke with roles in critically acclaimed feature films Cousins and The Justice of Bunny King. On top of that, Heke also appears in He Takatāpui Ahau - a short film that centres on the experience of a young non-binary person returning to their marae despite the homophobia and transphobia they've witnessed in the past. Released this week, He Takatāpui Ahau is part of the latest series of Outlook for Someday films created by up-and-coming filmmakers. 

The project ties in with Tanea’s biggest role currently - nurturing our future film and theatremakers as director of Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School. Her mission is to diversify the talent in the industry and the type of stories being told about Māori and Pasifika. And with seven of the top 10 films of all time at the New Zealand box office being Māori - it seems there’s a real appetite for indigenous storytelling.