New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi has been finding success at this year's Sundance Film Festival with the debut of his movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople - but that's not all he's been up to.

Waititi today announced on Twitter that he had a hand in helping launch the Merata Mita Fellowship.

"I helped launch this fellowship for indigenous artists in the name of my friend and mentor, the great Merata Mita." Taika wrote.

The fellowship, which launched at the independent film festival, is in honour of late Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, whose name is tied to several New Zealand documentaries.


She was the country's first indigenous female filmmaker, and an artistic director and advisor for the Sundance Institue NativeLab.

The fellowship's first recipient, Ciara Leina'ala Lacy (Kanaka Maoli) from O'ahu, Hawai'I, was also announced.