Leading TV writer/director Tim Worrall (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pākehā) has been appointed the Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2022.
Tim’s most recent work for television is as the co-lead writer and lead director on the acclaimed prime-time drama series Head High. He is a foundation member of the Māori Collective Steambox Films and has written and directed a number of award-winning short films including The Road to Whakarae, Tits on a Bull, and Māori Time.
Commenting on the appointment, Tim says, “Nōku te whiwhi kua kōwhiritia ahau e IIML hei kaituhi noho mā rātou mō te tau e tū mai. Kai te tukunga tonutia atu waku mihi ki Te Pūtahi Tuhi Auaha o Te Ao mō tēnei honore. Kai te tuku hoki aku mihi ki ngā taniwha ō Te Ao Tuhituhi I kawe I tēnei tūranga I ngā tau o mua, I whakatākoto hoki I wā rātou tapuwae hei ara mōku kia whai.
“I feel humbled and grateful to have been selected as IIML’s writer in residence for 2022. Any success I have achieved in my screenwriting career is due in large part to the skills and knowledge gained as a Master’s student at IIML. The opportunity this residency affords to reconnect with staff and the wider community of IIML and perhaps contribute something back, makes me truly happy.
“Walking in the footsteps of some of my greatest New Zealand literary heroes who have occupied this residency before me, is in equal measure thrilling and daunting.
“The opportunity to take time out from the everyday financial pressures of being a freelance screenwriter and explore stories that may not otherwise see the light of day is a massive privilege. Even more so that I get to do this in the company of other writers, in a community that nurtures creativity and will stretch the scope of my work and my thinking.”
Tim gained an MA in Creative Writing from the University in 2007. He also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam, University of Auckland, and has worked as an artist, designer, and tōhunga tā moko. His primary inspiration has been his Ngāi Tūhoe heritage and he has been involved in many design projects, including creating flags for Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa, establishing a Tūhoe Artists Collective and playing a significant role in the renaissance of Tūhoe tā moko.
While holding the residency, Tim will work on a number of scriptwriting projects.
Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Professor Damien Wilkins says, “Tim is establishing a mighty CV in the world of television and film. His dedication to writing stands at the heart of his achievements. It will be terrific to have Tim at the IIML and to see where he takes his art next.”
Tim takes up the residency at the IIML in February 2022.