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Jane Campion

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Jane Campion is a New Zealand filmmaker and screenwriter whose films often portray female characters who live on the fringes of society. She is the second of five women nominated for the Oscar for Best Director and the first – the second was Julia Ducournau, in this year's edition – woman to receive the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Some of her notable works include The Piano (1993), In the Cut (2003) and Bright Star (2009). At this year’s Venice Film Festival, Campion won the Silver Lion for Best Director with The Power of the Dog (2021), her most recent project, which will be shown in LEFFEST as part of the retrospective dedicated to her filmography.

Although her parents were involved in the New Zealand theater scene, Campion initially rejected a career in the performing arts. She graduated with a degree in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington (1975), and later completed a Masters in Visual Arts (Painting) at the University of Sydney (1981). However, she decided to take up cinema and enrolled in the Australian Film Television and Radio School (1984). During this period, she directed several short films, including Peel (1982), which won the Palme d'Or in the Short Film category at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. Her first feature film, Sweetie (1989), was showcased at Cannes and won some international awards. An Angel at My Table (1990), a biopic about the life of New Zealand writer Janet Frame, brought her more recognition. With The Piano (1993), she won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 and an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The film was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, and Campion for an Oscar for Best Director. Her subsequent films include: The Portrait of a Lady (1996), an adaptation of the Henry James novel starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, Holy Smoke! (1999) with Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel, and the thriller In the Cut (2003), with Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Jason Leigh. More recently, she co-wrote and co-directed the critically acclaimed and commercially successful television series Top of the Lake (2013, 2017).
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