Sir Peter


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Sir Peter Jackson’s Biography

Film Director/Producer/Screenwriter
Arts Foundation Icon 2011
Sir Peter Jackson is a New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter. He made history with 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, becoming the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously.

Sir Peter Jackson was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on Halloween in 1961. He grew up in Pukerua Bay, near Wellington. He began making movies at an early age using his parents' Super 8 camera. At 17, he left school and, after purchasing a 16mm camera, began shooting a science fiction comedy short, which 3 years later had grown into a 75-minute feature called Bad Taste.

In 1986, Sir Peter quit his job as an apprentice photo engraver after he received his first grant from the New Zealand Film Commission of $5,000. Bad Taste, his first feature film, was released two years later. He wrote, photographed, edited, did make-up and special effects and starred in the film. Bad Taste has become and indie movie classic.

The collaborative creative partnership between Sir Peter and his wife Fran Walsh has been at the centre of Sir Peter's career in film. Fran and Sir Peter co-wrote Meet the Feebles in 1990. This was one of three movies created with support from producer Jim Booth, who also assisted the production of Braindead and Heavenly Creatures. Braindead won 16 international science fiction awards, including a Saturn Award. Sir Peter continues to work closely with Fran Walsh, with whom he shares writing and producing credits for many of his films.

Sir Peter received widespread acclaim for Heavenly Creatures, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay in 1994. Sir Peter's first box-office hit was The Frighteners, starring Michael J Fox, which was released in 1996.

Sir Peter took on the role of producer with the television documentary Forgotten Silver, which he also co-directed. The film featured in the film festival circuit. In 2009, Sir Peter produced the Academy Award nominated scinence fiction drama District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp. He is a producer on Steven Spielberg's Tintin and he will also direct the second of the three planned films.

Sir Peter made history with The Lord of the Rings trilogy by becoming the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously. The Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers and The Return of the King were nominated for and collected a slew of film awards from around the globe, including 17 Academy Awards, 12 British Academy of Film and Television Awards and four Golden Globes.

It was for The Return of the King that Sir Peter received his most impressive collection of awards. This included three Academy Awards (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture), two Golden Globes (Best Director and Best Motion Picture - Drama), three BAFTAs (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film and Audience), a Directors Guild Award, a Producers Guild Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award.

After completing The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sir Peter directed, wrote and produced King Kong for Universal Pictures. The film won three Oscars.

In the 2010 Queen's New Year's Honours List he was made a Knight Companion of the Order of New Zealand for his services to the film industry. He received an Arts Foundation Icon Award in 2011. The Icon Award honours extraordinary New Zealand artists who have made a significant impact on their chosen art form. Sir Peter was recognised for his contribution as a leader in New Zealand film. The Award is considered the Arts Foundation's highest honour and is limited to a living circle of twenty artists.

Sir Peter Jackson - with his Arts Foundation Icon Award medallion - received in 2011

In 2012 Sir Peter received an ONZ (Additional Member of the said Order) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. This is New Zealand's highest honour.

Jackson directed The Hobbit Trilogy: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), which was nominated for and won multiple awards.

On a visit to the South Pacific in May 2016, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls presented Pardington with one of France's highest honours, the Order des Arts et des Lettres. The Order recognises those who have made a significant contribution to the arts, and can be awarded to recipients from all over the world.

Sir Peter has a special interest in WWI memorabilia and is the proud owner of a Sopwith Camel bi-wing. Sir Peter lives in Wellington with his partner Fran Walsh and their two children.