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“JoJo Tiana” – Lawyer of the Year In New Movie From JoJo Rabbit Producer

Lawyer of the Year and NZ Law Society President Tiana Epani is the ‘lead’ in a new movie from “Jojo Rabbit” producer Chelsea Winstanley.

Winstanley’s new movie, The Appeal, about a landmark legal case in New Zealand involving the defence of a former gang member by Tiana Epani and which challengews the prejudices within the justice system and the bias against Maori.

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Online entertainment site Deadline described the movie thus: The feature tells the story of Samoan lawyer Tiana Epati who defended a former gang member in a leading case that challenged prejudices within the criminal justice system and highlighted racial bias against the country’s Māori population.

Chelsea Winstanley has a new company based in Los Angeles and New Zealand and is intent upon producing “authentic stories with unique cultural perspectives.”

Chelsea Winstanley is producer of Oscar-nominated Jojo Rabbit, directed by her husband, Taika Waititi, and festival favourite What We Do In The Shadows.

Chelsea Winstanley with husband Taika Waititi

Based in Los Angeles and New Zealand, the new company will focus on storytelling and will act as a vehicle for Winstanley’s own writing and directing projects.

Winstanley is fresh off producing the Scarlet Johansson-led “Jojo Rabbit,” a satirical film about a boy in Nazi Germany who finds out his mom is harboring a Jewish girl in their home. The film has been nominated for six Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture.

In a LinkedIn post, Tiana Epati said “Friends for over 30 years, I have watched Chelsea evolve over the decades into an authentic, sophisticated and creatively gifted film maker”, adding . . “the best is yet to come.”

Winstanley is to both direct and produce the Tiana Epati movie.

“As I enter this new decade of my career, I also strive to engage as a writer and director to give the cinema an opportunity to present stories that have never been told before,” said Winstanley in a press statement announcing her new company.

The news of her Oscar nomination for ‘Jojo Rabbit’ also drew the congratulatory post on LinkedIn from Tiana Epati:

The LawFuel Interview with Tiana Epati

Chelsea Winstanley speaks

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