New Zealand film-maker: Jane Campion

New Zealander Jane Campion is one of only four female film-makers to have ever been nominated for an Academy Award as best director.

Acclaimed New Zealand film director Jane Campion is one of the country's most celebrated talents and one of only four female film-makers to have been nominated for an Academy Award as best director.

When nominated in 1993 for The Piano, Jane Campion didn't win the Oscar, but she did take home the prized statuette for best screenplay.

Campion was also the first woman to receive the prestigious Palme d'Or for directing at the Cannes Film Festival - again for The Piano.

'Bright Star' - critical acclaim

In 2010 - 16 years on from her breakthrough triumph - Jane Campion returned to the red carpet at Cannes to present Bright Star.

Written and directed by Campion, Bright Star is a period drama about the romance between English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. The romance was cut short by Keats’ untimely death at age 25. She was again nominated for a Palme d’Or for Bright Star.

New Zealand actress Kerry Fox plays Brawne’s mother in the film.

'The Piano' - extraordinary success

The Piano was an extraordinarily successful film.

Alongside breathtaking New Zealand scenery, The Piano was the launching pad for a new generation star - 11-year-old actress Anna Paquin won an Academy Award for her performance.

The film also featured established Hollywood star, New Zealander Sam Neill, and Campion herself.

The Piano was filmed 40-minutes out of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city,  on the rugged west coast beach of Karekare and in the surrounding rainforest.

International awards

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand' s capital city, and graduated in anthropology from Victoria University.

The young film-maker's first production was a short called Sweetie which received several international awards, including the LA Film Critics 'New Generation Award' in 1990.

Jane Campion's second film - An Angel at my Table - was based on the autobiographical works of renowned New Zealand author Janet Frame, and won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Fellow New Zealander and actress Kerry Fox, who played Janet Frame, earned international recognition for her performance in An Angel at my Table.

Campion heads Cannes

In 2012, Campion produced the critically-acclaimed television series Top of the Lake. Filmed entirely on location in Queenstown - on the South Island of New Zealand - Top of the Lake once again brought Campion’s exceptional talent to the attention of the world.

In 2014 the plaudits for Campion continued after she was named as Steven Spielberg’s replacement as the head judge for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

More information

New Zealand actress: Anna Paquin

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Auckland's west coast