Julian Arahanga has had a colourful career in the screen industry and is one of New Zealand’s most experienced practitioners. Starting in front of the camera as an 11-year-old in the Witi Ihimaera inspired ‘Makutu on Mrs Jones’ he moved behind the camera after finishing college and was educated by some of the industry’s most talented technicians in camera, lighting, and gripping.
During this educational period, Arahanga also got to work with some of the world’s most talented directors, DOPs, and production designers in the world during the decadent years of advertising.
Stepping back in front of the camera proved to be the right move for a career shift, and roles in ‘Once Were Warriors’, ‘Broken English’, ‘The Matrix’ and other films and series brought a new level of exposure and opportunities. Always interested in telling New Zealand stories, Arahanga started Awa Films in 2001 and built a reputation as a documentary and unscripted producer and director, with shows like ‘Turangarere’, ‘Behind the Brush’, and ‘Songs from the Inside’.
Wanting to move back into the scripted space, Arahanga has begun writing and developing a vision, voice, and process that will tell authentic engaging stories with the heart and soul of Aotearoa.