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Chelsea Winstanley

Producer, writer, director

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Chelsea Winstanley is an Oscar® nominated producer, an award-winning filmmaker and has been a producer, writer and director for almost 20yrs. 

As a p.g.a. producer on Taika Waititi’s Academy nominated feature JOJO RABBIT, Chelsea became the first indigenous female Oscar® nominee for Best Picture. 

In 2019 she joined NIGHT RAIDERS as a producer on the first Canadian / NZ Indigenous Co-Production written and directed by Creē first nations filmmaker Danis Goulet. 

As a producer her critically-acclaimed documentary feature, MERATA: HOW MUM DECOLONISED THE SCREEN was distributed by Ava Duvernay and Array, which played at the 2019 Sundance and Berlin film festivals and is now on NETFLIX worldwide. 

In 2017 she produced the DISNEY animated version of MOANA Reo Māori and is set to release LION KING and FROZEN in Te Reo Māori in 2022.

In 2014, she produced the hit mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, directed by Waititi and Jemaine Clement – now a TV show for FX. And early in her career, she produced several award winning short films two of which premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. 

As a director she began making documentaries winning a Media Peace award with her graduating film WHAKANGAHAU. She went on to direct several short documentaries and television series for local broadcasters. She was one of nine women who made the anthology feature WARU which won the LAAPFF best film award in 2018. Her short film FORGIVE ME screened at ImagineNATIVE Film Festival in October 2019 and had it’s NZ premiere at the NZIFF in July 2020. 

Chelsea has several projects on her slate in various stages of development as a director and producer. KAPŌ with writer director Etienne Aurelias and THIEF OF SLEEP starring Mojean Aria. As a director she is currently in post production with the Documentary about the monumental exhibition of contemporary Māori art - Toi Tū Toi Ora. She is also developing the dramatic feature THE APPEAL.  

Chelsea is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture and Science, The Academy Indigenous Alliance, Global Women, Women in Film & Television and a board member of the Courageous Conversation Aotearoa Foundation.


Chelsea graduated from AUT in 2003 with a Bachelor of communications and completed the EAVE Producers course in Europe in 2011. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Auckland University of Technology. She moved back to Aotearoa New Zealand from Los Angeles in 2020 with her family. In 2021 she won a KEA international award for her achievements in the screen industry. 

Chelsea is from the indigenous tribes Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi of Aotearoa New Zealand through her mother, and Pākehā through her father.

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