On his childhood:
I'm originally from Auckland and I grew up in a black culture. That was all I knew at first, and my father, who was a great inspiration to me, has been a huge influence on my films.
On his initiation to the cinema:
I was introduced to cinema at a very young age. What interested me as a child was the world of Star Wars. But my mother knew about everything that was going on in the cinemas. She knew the film titles and the actors' names and made me watch films from all kinds of genres.
On how he develops his characters:
My films are initiatory tales which offer a portrait of young people looking for their role in life and their way. It's a theme that clearly harks back to my own development.
On the preparation of Black Panther:
I discovered "Black Panther" when I was a child. I'd had enough reading comics drawn and written by white people. And so someone advised me to read "Black Panther". In making this film, I was influenced a great deal by James Bond and The Godfather. And then there was my discovery of Africa. In Black Panther, I wanted to communicate what I felt when I went there for the first time.
On the atmosphere on the set of Black Panther:
The actors in the film all come from different diasporas. On set, we all had different ways of talking, accents or bits of slang unique to our place of origin. It was a moving experience – we felt we were part of something bigger than us.
On the use of music in his films:
Music was my first love. Many directors have used music in revolutionary ways, which I've tried to draw inspiration from. For Black Panther, I wanted to make a film that was African in every respect. I wanted the music to represent that African diaspora because in my view, music helps you tell a story. Similarly, in Fruitvale Station, it helped me evoke the underlying chaos in the film.
On his relationship with actor Michael B. Jordan:
For my first film Fruitvale Station, I watched every film with Michael B. Jordan and said to myself: that's your man. I met him for the first time at the Sundance Festival and we got on like a house on fire from the outset!
On the role of women in his films:
The female figures in my films are strong women, with very striking personalities. They're even more important than the men. They're heads of families, and very intelligent. It's also in that environment that I grew up, surrounded by incredible women.
On diversity in cinema:
Things have got to change. I hope we're going to improve the film industry and take it forward. It's not true that black films can't attract an audience. We've proved the opposite and we have to keep multiplying the examples to prove that it's possible.