Wellington, Jun 2 (PTI) 'Jojo Rabbit' director Taika Waititi has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2020 Queen's Birthday honours list.
The writer-filmmaker recently became the first artiste of indigenous heritage to win an Academy Award.
Waititi, who is being recognised for his 'services to film', is among the 178 New Zealanders to make it to the list, which includes novelist Elizabeth Knox, and Maori linguist Ani Patene Gazala Wainu.
The filmmaker told Radio New Zealand that an award from his home country meant more than any other.
'Personally I make my stuff for New Zealanders first and foremost. They are my first audience. My peers and colleagues, to be recognised by them, people who are closer to my home, is more significant,' he said.
Waititi started his journey with films such as 'Boy' and 'What We Do In The Shadows'. His major moment came when he directed 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople', which became the highest grossing film in New Zealand.
He broke onto the Hollywood scene with Marvel Studio's 'Thor: Ragnarok', starring Chris Hemsworth.
The director followed it up with satirical black comedy 'Jojo Rabbit', which was nominated for six Academy Awards at 2020 Oscars. He created history with his win for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Waititi was most recently announced as the director for new 'Star Wars' movie.
He is currently working on 'Next Goal Wins', starring Michael Fassbender and Elizabeth Moss, as well as 'Thor: Love and Thunder'. PTI RB RDS RDS