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Taika Waititi included in Queen's Birthday honours for services to film

Taika Waititi has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film.

Taika Waititi. Source: Associated Press

The 44-year-old director, writer, and actor won an Oscar earlier this year for Best Adapted Screenplay for his 2019 film Jojo Rabbit.

Waititi gained prominence for his 2004 short film Two Cars, One Night, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won several international film festival awards.

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His feature film Boy became the highest grossing New Zealand film in 2010, a record broken six years later by another one of his films, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The 2016 film also broke the record for a New Zealand film in its opening weekend.

His earlier films Eagle vs Shark (2007) and What We Do in the Shadows (2014) were received with critical acclaim, as well as his major Hollywood directorial debut Thor: Ragnarok (2017).

On the smaller screen, Waititi has directed episodes of Flight of the Concords television series and an episode of the Star Wars live action series The Mandalorian (2019).

It was announced earlier this year that the 44-year-old will direct the next Star Wars film.

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Also in his near future, Waititi will be directing Thor: Love and Thunder, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the follow-up to Thor: Ragnarok.

Earlier in his career, he was one-half of the comedy duo Humourbeasts, who received New Zealand’s highest comedy accolade the Billy T Award in 1999.

Waititi was also New Zealander of the Year in 2017.