Magical Maori Film Making!
Chelsea Grant is an award-winning Maori filmmaker. She has won awards for her producing, directing, screenwriting and acting. We are so thrilled to be able to chat candidly with the star about her upcoming projects, life during covid and plans for the future.
THANKS FOR SITTING DOWN WITH US, HOW IS EVERYTHING GOING FOR YOU? HAVE YOU FOUND COVID HARD?
It’s my pleasure. I really haven’t struggled that much. I had covid back in March last year. Both myself and my husband caught it. We got engaged and married last year (engaged in April and married in August) so I have been living in married bliss.
HOW DO YOU FIND MARRIED LIFE?
It is extremely difficult and confronting. I have had to be less selfish, really prioritise and care about someone else more than myself. It’s hard, you go 30 years on your own and then suddenly you must change and grow to make it work. I got so lucky with my husband. He really helps me grow. We are by no means perfect. We have huge arguments sometimes. We say things we don’t mean. But that’s the immaturity leaving us. That’s us growing, creating boundaries. You can’t have resolution without the conflict. Conflict is good for growth and for change.
HOW SO WISE?
My biggest strength is my ability to look inside myself and identify what I need to change, what I don’t like, what reactions can be improved, what I want to work on. My biggest weakness is staying patient and calm when I try to engage someone who also needs to change but doesn’t have the same strengths as me and doesn’t identify what they lack.
VERY INTROSPECTIVE. THAT’S INTRIGUING, CAN WE HAVE A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE?
Sure. So, let’s call the person Z. I had a real issue with Z, and I felt really disrespected, really annoyed by their immature and unwise behaviour. I, in turn, lost my temper at their lack of basic human decency and overall stupidity. In reflection I can totally see how and what I could have done better. However, Z is only interested in pointing the finger, taking no blame themselves and thinking they are perfect. When Z is deeply flawed. More so than me and more so than anyone I have ever encountered.
WOW, WHAT A SITUATION. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
That’s one example. If it were a one off. I would be happy to engage and move on. If it were a reoccurring disrespect. Depending on the number of times it occurred I would cut that relationship from my life. There’s no need for negativity in your life. Life is short. Surround yourself with eagles.
WHAT ABOUT THE NOTION OF PLANTING THE SEEDS? THEY TAKE TIME BUT THEY CAN FLOURISH.
Exactly, they can flourish. However, if the soil is toxic, you will never grow anything. It’s a waste of time, effort, energy, money.
YOU ARE BLOWING MY MIND.
Haha, I love psychology and I am deeply spiritual, deeply faith-filled.
I AM THINKING ABOUT ALL THE PROBLEMS I FACE IN MY LIFE; WE NEED TO TALK OFFLINE! I NEED SOME ADVICE!
Haha, I am happy to help.
I AM GUESSING YOU ARE GREAT TO GO TO FOR ADVICE? YOU MUST GET A LOT OF YOUR FRIENDS COMING TO YOU.
I do take that really seriously. It’s a huge responsibility to give advice. I always try to get my friends to see the bigger picture. For example, if its advice on relationships I try and get them to see the other persons perspective. I have been misjudged so many times, misunderstood. I think it’s really important to open your mind, walk in someone else’s shoes, before you pass any kind of judgement. Judgement is for God.
I COULD LISTEN TO YOU ALL DAY. I NEED TO ASK THOUGH, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FILM?
War Lands. We are in the process of signing on our Star actor. So, I cannot give anything away. Thought I promise next time I’ll give you more insight! It’s a feature length version of my award-winning short film Titiro. Which I made in 2016. It won some awards and got me the recognition I needed to move on and create War Lands. I want to recognise Maori culture. I also want to tell stories of underdogs, the abandoned, the abused, the alone, the rejected. The people who no one cares about. Those are the people I love, honour, and stand strong for. Kia Kaha.
WHAT DOES KIA KAHA MEAN?
Stand strong, in Maori. We say it as a show of strength. Of mana or power. It is a deep honour. You fully stand behind and protect what you are fighting for. I fight and advocate for causes that are close to my heart.
WOW, THIS HAS BEEN A PLEASURE. I CAN’T BELIEVE WE HAVE RUN OUT OF TIME. YOU ARE A FIRECRACKER. I BELIEVE YOU WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.
Haha, thanks. I’m going to try.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH CHELSEA GRANT ON INSTAGRAM @CHELSEASUMMERGREEN