Taika Waititi celebrates 'Indigenous kids all over the world' following win at 2020 Oscars

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi dedicated his Oscars win to "Indigenous kids all over the world" as he became the first Maori filmmaker to nab the prize for Adapted Screenplay.

The New Zealand-born director scooped the award for his Nazi-era satire Jojo Rabbit, starring Scarlett Johansson and Rebel Wilson, and, as he accepted the accolade on Sunday night, paid tribute to his Maori heritage.

"I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids all over the world who want to do art and dance and write stories," he said. "We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well."

Following Waititi's victory, New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, began her weekly press conference by congratulating the star.

"I know we're all incredibly proud of him," she gushed. "I don't see many movies, but I've seen that one, and not many people could pull off an amazing film like that."

Meanwhile, Christine Leunens, the author of the Caging Skies - the 2008 novel that Waititi made into Jojo Rabbit - told The Guardian after the ceremony that those behind the film were "about to have a well-needed drink".

"I feel that Taika took the message of the story and he put notes of hope and humour to bring it to a contemporary audience, offering a message that the story has become relevant again today," she said of the filmmaker's interpretation of her "careful" historical novel.

In addition to directing the movie, Waititi also appeared as a comedic version of Adolf Hitler. He received his first Oscar nomination for the short film Two Cars, One Night back in 2005.


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