"I fell in love with filmmaking when I was 25 years old. Quickly it became my whole life, I worked 18 hours a day, I gave it my everything. It was the first time I felt free. Over the 30 years that I have spent in film I have learnt to; listen carefully to feedback, let my imagination come to me, try not to force anything."

Jane Campion's directorial debut, the short film Peel, won the Palme D'or at the Cannes Film Festival. She directed numerous award-winning short films before making her feature debut with Sweetie, which premiered in competition at Cannes. The film won the George Seoul Prize in 1989 for Best Foreign Film, the Los Angeles Film Critics' New Generation Award, the American Spirit of Independence Award for Best Foreign Feature and the Australian Critics Award for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress.

An Angel at my Table premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1990 where it won seven prizes, including The Silver Lion. It won the American Spirit of Independence Award, gathered prizes at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals and was voted most popular film at the 1990 Sydney Film Festival.

 Image by Parisa Taghizadeh

Jane wrote and directed The Piano which received more than 30 international awards including the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and nine Academy Award nominations winning three awards including Best Screenplay.  Other awards include Best Director from The New York Film Critics Circle, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Australian Film Critics and nominations as Best Director from the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA and Great Britain's Guild of Regional Film Writers. The film won Best Picture at the AFI Awards.

The Portrait of a Lady closed the Venice Film Festival in 1996, was nominated for two Academy Awards and garnered the Francesco Pasinetti Award for Best Film by the National Union of Film Journalists. Jane co-wrote with her sister Anna, and directed, Holy Smoke and directed and co-wrote, with Susanna Moore, In the Cut.  The film opened the London Film Festival. Jane wrote and directed Bright Star which screened in Official Competition in Cannes in 2009.  Jane  wrote and directed two short films, The Water Diary (2005), developed with the United Nations Development Program in order to promote the Millennium Development Goals campaign launched by Kofi Annan in 2000 and The Lady Bug (2006) commissioned by the Cannes Film Festival as a tribute to cinema for their 60th anniversary.  

In 2013 Jane was awarded the Carosse D'or Prize by Societe de Realisateurs de Film in recognition of "innovative qualities, courage and independent mindedness" presented on the opening of Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.  In the same year, she was the recipient of an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award.

At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, she was head of the jury for the main competition section. In 2015, Campion played an essential role in establishing an annual scholarship programme for female directors through the New Zealand Film Commission. 

Jane completed Top of the Lakea six hour miniseries for the BBC and The Sundance Channel, in 2013. She created and wrote the series with her long time collaborator, Gerard Lee. Jane also executive produced and directed three of the six episodes. Top of the Lake is the first television miniseries to screen at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, and has received eight Emmy Award nominations. Filming of the second season began in March 2016; it is due to air later in the same year.

Campion was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film in the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honours.

 
 Still from the movie The Piano (1993) directed by Jane Campion
Courtesy of Saddleback Productions and TF1 International

 

Video

2013
Top of the Lake, produced and co-directed by Jane Campion and Garth Davis
1997
The Portrait of a Lady is a film of Henry James's novel 'The Portrait of a Lady' adapted and directed by Jane Campion
1990
Directed by Jane Campion, An Angel at My Table is adapted from author Janet Frame's three-part autobiography.
1954
Born, Wellington, New Zealand
1975
Bachelor of Arts-Anthropology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
1979
Diploma of Fine Arts, Chelsea School of Arts, London and completed at Sydney College of the Arts: Bachelor of Arts, majoring in painting
1982
Writer/Director, Peel
1984
Diploma in Directing - Australian Film and Television School, Sydney
1985-86
Director, Two Friends a Telemovie ABC TV Drama; Peel Cannes Film Festival, winner Palme d'Or for Best Short Film )1986)
1988
Director, feature film, Sweetie
1989-90
Director of An Angel at my Table 3 x 1 hrs for TV; Won 1990 New Zealand Film and TV Awards; Director Peel, Passionless Moments and Girls Own Story - National release in the USA.
1990
Winner, Byron Kennedy Award for excellence and contribution to Australian Cinema
1991-92
Writer/Director, feature film, The Piano
1993
Cannes (Palme d'Or) first and only female director to win this award for The Piano
1994
The Piano nominated for 66th Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards
1996
Director, feature film, The Portrait of a Lady ; Won Francesco Pasinetti Award, Venice Film Festival
1997
President, International Jury of the 54th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica Festival, Venice Film Festival
1999
Director, feature film, Holy Smoke; Women in Hollywood, Icon Award in recognition to the film industry; Honorary Doctorate of Literature, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
2000
Taormina Arte Diamond Award, Italy; Adjunct Professor, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney; WIN Award, Wimfemme Film Festival (Women's Image Network), USA
2003
Director of feature film In The Cut
2004
Taormina Arte Award for Cinematic Excellence, Italy
2005
Writer / Director The Water Diary Short Film, for United Nations Development Program; Executive Producer/creative mentor for the documentary Abduction, The Yokota Megumi Story; The Vanguard Director Award, Cine Vegas Film festival, USA; Jury President, Istanbul Film Festival
2006
Abduction, The Yokota Megumi Story - Winner, Audience Award Omaha Film Festival; Audience Award Slamdance Film Festival and Best Documentary San Francisco int. Asian-American Film Festival; Writer/Director for short film The Lady Bug
2008
Jury President, Istanbul Film Festival
2009
Writer/Director feature film Bright Star
2010
Special Career Award, Off Camera Plus Festival International Independent Festival, Krakow Poland; Special Career Award, 11th La Milanesiana, Literature Music Cinema Science Festival, Italy; President of the Jury, 12th Mumbai Film Festival, India
2011-2012
Director/Writer ,Top of the Lake (Six hour TV mini series for BBC2)
2013
Top of the Lake nominated for 8 Emmy Awards; Jury President, Cinéfondation and Short Film, Festival; de Cannes Carosse d'or prize awarded by Societe de Realisateurs de Film in recognition of innovative qualities, courage and independant mindedness of work; Recipient, Arts Foundation of NZ Laureate Award; Recipient, Wellingtonian of the Year, Arts category
2014
Head of the jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for the main competition section.
2015
Played an essential role in establishing an annual scholarship programme for NZ female directors through the New Zealand Film Commission.
2016
Appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film in the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honours. Begins filming the second season of 'Top of the Lake"