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Niki Caro


Niki Caro

Niki Caro MNZM’s Biography

Last Updated:
28/05/2024, 10:39 am
Arts Foundation Laureate 2017
Director Niki Caro, is one of the most successful filmmakers to emerge from New Zealand. Her second feature film, Whale Rider, won twenty-seven international awards, including audience awards at prestigious international film festivals including Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle and Maui. It won an Academy Award nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes, then the youngest person ever to be nominated in the Best Actress category.

After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film, Caro directed several highly acclaimed short films. Sure to Rise screened in in Competition in Cannes in 1994; and Footage at the Venice Film Festival in 1996. Her first feature film Memory And Desire was selected for Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

Following the international success of Whale Rider, Caro directed North Country for Warner Bros. Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively at the 2005 Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTAs, Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

After relocating to the United States, Caro directed McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner, for Disney about a group of long distance runners who emerged out of unbelievable poverty under the guidance of an unlikely coach.

Her latest film is Focus Features’ The Zookeeper’s Wife, starring Jessica Chastain which treats the story of the amazing safe house provided within the Warsaw Zoo during the Nazi occupation. Also released in 2017, the 2-hour film-like pilot for Netflix’ Anne With An ‘E’, a bold and inspired new vision of Anne of Green Gables. Her ability to immerse herself in the sensitivity of specific cultures and human conditions while still providing a universal story, makes her uniquely qualified to undertake her next project, the live-action remake of Disney’s Mulan.

In 2017 Niki received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.