"Dreams, questions, stories expressed in a non-linear form. I love the idea that as an audience member I feel challenged as pictures and characters shift focus taking me somewhere, I haven't been before."

Interview Mika X

GURL

Mika X – writer, director, executive producer. Ngāpuhi / KaiTahu Takatāpui Non binary fluid Award winning writer and creator of international stage shows, television and web series and shorts. A recipient of New Zealand Writers Guild feature film grant for ‘Book of Carmen’ (Gurl is the prequel to the feature). His role in The Piano as TahuTakataapui was a groundbreaking role in the Oscar award winning Jane Campion directed movie. I have loved me a man was the first gay single in NZ (Warner Music 1989) Mika established his charity the Mika Haka Foundation in 2008. And co-created with Ramon Te Wake the first Takatapui Reality show Queens of Panguru.

Would you agree to say that most of the world – as there are still countries where homosexuality is penalised – has changed a big deal since 1975 in terms of sexual discrimination?

“Yes many nations have evolved – but this is not enough by any measure. I am blessed to have been able to make Māori Queer works since I was young. Yet many of us are still silenced by a hetero normality that expects us to be ‘nice’. My Queer culture is as unique as my Takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ+) culture.”

 

 

Don’t you believe that hiding behind who we think we should be for others’ approval is a societal issue beyond your sexual condition? Beginning at home at an early age expecting our own parents approval in any subject; we would pretend whatever needed in order to please them? Do you as the Director relate to this?

“I totally relate to this – and it’s the same as women in film, People Of Colour, etc. we still have to gain investors who sadly tend to be conservative in nature – and of course expect us to fit into ‘their’ concept of what should be on screen and what shouldn’t.”

 

 

You stated: “Gurl is not a victim”, Could you expand on that?

“In GURL’s world Māori, Sex Workers, Drag Queens choose their profession; warriors of darkness – in that they stood under lamplight corners bold and brazen. We are who we are, and ‘we aren’t your bitches.’

Fun Fact: The city of Wellington in NZ, late 1960s-early 1970s had the largest publicly visible Trans community on the planet. TV appearances, public cafes, night clubs and even public office had Trans running these places – and all very publicly.

 

 

We are always interested in the writing of an original score. Is it written beforehand, along with the filmmaking or once finished?

“I hear sounds, see movement as I write scripts for both stage and film. Demos were recorded beforehand and then once the film was complete, I went into the studio with around 30 musicians, cast and vocalists to record the tracks ‘tempo and mood’ against the picture. I LOVE the soundtrack it’s so vital in a musical.”