Ainsley is of Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao and Whakatōhea descent.
Notably Ainsley produced Oscar-nominated short film TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT (2002) and TAMA TŪ (2004), both written and directed by Taika Waititi. She went on to collaborate with Waititi on his feature films, EAGLE VS SHARK in 2005 and his (original) No. 1 Box Office hit, BOY in 2009.
Ainsley has produced other features, most recently THE PĀ BOYS with writer/director Himiona Grace, as well as drama for television.
Ainsley has hosted a short film programme on Māori Television and has also dabbled in writing and directing. Her first short film, MOKOPUNA, had a successful festival life, winning gold at the Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival.
Ainsley often works as an external script assessor and mentors a number of emerging Māori writers, directors and producers.
She is focusing on producing until her children get old enough to cook for themselves and then she will work on her aspiration to be New Zealand’s next Taika Waititi…
She is currently a director with WARU, a collaborative feature film with eight Māori women directors.
See Ainsley Gardiner in the following session: