- Chelsea Winstanley is a filmmaker from New Zealand who is inspired by indigenous stories
- The 48-year-old is Taika Waititi’s ex-wife with whom he shares two out of her three children
- She moved to New Zealand to continue pursuing her career after her 7 years of marriage ended in 2020
Chelsea Winstanley is an acclaimed New Zealand producer, visual storyteller, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker known for What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit, and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen(2018). Aside from her successful career as a movie maker, she is Taika Waititi’s ex-wife.
Chelsea and Waititi, the New Zealand director and actor lasted only 7 years before divorcing in 2018 after producing two out of her three children, Maia, Te Hinekāhu, and Matewa Kiritapo.
Chelsea Winstanley Early Life and Education
She was born Chelsea Jane Winstanley on January 30, 1976, in Tauranga, New Zealand. Her father, John Winstanley was a home decorator and her mother, Cherry Wilson, was a psychotherapist. Per her ancestry, Chelsea is of Ngāti Ranginui and Ngai Te Rangi on her mother’s side.
Moving on, Chelsea graduated at the top of her class from the Australian University of Technology with a degree in television production in 2003. Seven years later, she took an EAVE Producers Course in Europe in 2011.
Her Cultural Background Inspired Her Successful Career
Since she launched her career as a movie maker, her passion for telling cultural stories about indigenous people has been an inspiration.
As mentioned earlier, graduating at the top of her class made way for her at Kiwa productions as a director. While there, she honed her skills as she directed Tame Iti: The Man Behind the Moko, an award-winning documentary for Media Peace.
Over the years, she produced many short stories and collaborated with other movie makers such as Taika Waititi in 2014 What We Do In the Shadows.
She had a career turnaround in 2018 when she produced Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, a documentary about Meta Mita.
Aside from independent projects, she founded indigenous companies like Matewa Media in 2017 and This Too Shall Pass, with the aim of overseeing the making of movies or series from preproduction to the final stages.
Her Career Has Garnered many awards that make her one of the most celebrated moviemakers in New Zealand.
How the 48-year-old Met And Married Taiki Waititi, Her Ex-husband
Chelsea first met Taika when she interviewed him for a television documentary series about artists. That first meeting marked the beginning of a relationship between them and not long after, they started a romantic relationship.
In 2011, Chelsea got married at a New York-held wedding.
The Truth About Her Divorce From Taika Waititi
Chelsea and Taika divorced in 2018 after 7 years of marriage, yet they managed to keep the information quiet till 2020.
Since they put a tight lid on the breakdown of their marriage, it only added to the speculation about the real cause of the divorce. Notably, speculation started about his involvement with Rita Ora, the singer and X Factor judge.
She met him in 2018, the same year he and Chelsea divorced. While it is unclear whether the two were already dating, by 2021, dating rumors started flying around. Rita’s post of her and an unidentified man that was alleged to be Waititi also did not go unnoticed. By August of the same year, the pair made their relationship public when they engaged.
She is the Mother of Three Children
Prior to her marriage to Taika, Chelsea had a son, Maia from a previous relationship. At the time she had him, she was only twenty years old.
Through her marriage to the Australian movie producer and director of Thor, Chelsea became a mother to two children, Te Hinekāhu and Matewa Kiritapo.
Moving forward, they have also appeared at public events such as the launch of the Lion King in 2019.
So far her two youngest children with the director have shown promising signs of joining their parents in the entertainment industry. They appeared as the Asgardian children in their father’s Thor: Love and Thunder which came out in 2022.
What is Chelsea Winstanley Up to?
Since the breakdown of her marriage, Chelsea has moved on with her life. Though it is unclear if she is seeing anyone, she relocated from Los Angeles to New Zealand in order to continue building her career.
After moving back to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2020, the movie maker is back at the Auckland University of Technology where she took up a position as an artist in residence.
One year after her move, she won a KEA international award in 2021 for her achievements in the screening industry.
Her husband has since moved on with his life. Taika and Rita Ora secretly got married in 2022. They have not revealed why they chose to have a secret wedding as there are many fans of the Poison crooner, Rita, and Taika who are still hoping for a big celebration soon.