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Arts Foundation

Ana Scotney’s Biography

Last Updated:
5/05/2022, 9:27 am
Arts Foundation Springboard 2022
Kō Tarapounamu te Maunga, Kō Te-Manawa-Ā-Hiwi te awa, Kō Ngāti Tawhaki ki, Ngaputahi tehapū, Ko Mataatua te waka, Ngai Tūhoe te iwi, Pākeha, Jewish, German, Irish
“My friend, collaborator and mentor Puti Lancaster, who taught so many of us, most of what has become intrinsic in my work as an artist, passed away suddenly on Christmas day of 2021. I love my friend, I miss my friend. Following Puti’s passing, I’ve made the commitment to create three original pakiwaitara to whakamana our hoa. She meant so much to so many of us. The film project we’re going to develop, with the support of the Springboard programme, Universe From Our Waka, is one of these pakiwaitara. I cannot express how much this means to me, to be able to do. Ngā mihi tino aroha kia koutou, Kia ora."

This Springboard Award is gifted by Brad Spence Holly Erskine

Ana Chaya Scotney is an actor and interdisciplinary artist, hailing from Te Whanganui A Tara. She loves to make projects that celebrate marginalised voices, moments of goofiness, and transcendence, amidst the domestic and mundane. In her stories, she seeks to centre the voice of the proverbial misfit, in different contexts. She is curious to research and share the points of view of youth, tangata whenua and off the grid communities, and ecologies, in Aotearoa, today.

Her tūrangawaewae takes her back to the ngahere of Te Urewera, a place that has informed both her artistry, and her love of durational hikes, whisky by the fire of the billy, or beside an awa, and spending time outside.

Ana’s stories often explore themes about the complexities of place and belonging, being of both the Māori and Jewish diasporas; and the impacts that class, colonial hegemony and familial grief have on young people, in Aotearoa, today.

In her work as an actor, she’s been able to contribute performances to projects such as Cousins, The Breaker Upperers, Millie Lies Low, Shortland Street, Wellington Paranormal. In 2022, in the medium of cinema, Ana’s debut lead performance, as Millie, in Michelle Savill’s Millie Lies Low, made its world premier at the Berlin International Film Festival, and its North American premier at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. In the medium of live performance, Ana’s new solo play ScatterGun, After The Death of Rūaumoko was the winner of two awards at the NZ Fringe Festival: Outstanding Solo Performance, and The Sydney Fringe Tour Ready Award following its sell-out season. In the medium of music, in 2021, Ana’s debut EP High Def Multinational, made in collaboration with producer Thomas Arbor, as Kōtiro, won Favourite mixtape/EP at the SNR Awards.

Ana is the founder of Kōtiro Publishing Giant Inc. an independent publishing house, producing original works of art, across the aforementioned art forms.

She is an ocean swimmer, Nichiren Buddhist, and has aspirations to learn to ride motorbikes


Ana Scotney will be mentored by 2001 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Dame Gaylene Preston DNZM

Dame Gaylene Preston DNZM is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker with a career spanning more than three decades. An innovative writer, director, and producer, Dame Gaylene has insisted that it is possible to live in New Zealand and contribute New Zealand stories to global cinema; and her award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto, London, Fantasporto, Chicago, San Francisco, Munich, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Brighton, Athena NY and New Zealand.

Statement from selection panel:

“Ana is a true multi-disciplinary artist who works across the arts sector. Well-regarded and successful in a number of fields as an actor, musician, writer–as an artist she is curious, fierce and an explorer. As a Springboard Recipient, we know Ana will use the opportunity to deepen and grow her arts practice.”