Jane Campion wins tops prize at Venice Film Festival

Acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion has this morning taken out the best director prize at the Venice Film Festival, for her latest movie The Power of the Dog.

The film, shot in New Zealand at various locations including Dunedin, Lindis Valley, Oamaru and Queenstown, stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and rising New Zealand star Thomasin McKenzie.

The Power of the Dog had its world premiere in Venice last week, and this morning Jane Campion was awarded the Silver Lion for Best Director. The Golden Lion for best film went to French Abortion Drama “Happening”.

The Power of the Dog was adapted by Campion from a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage.

A predominantly New Zealand crew worked on the production, including award-winning Kiwis such as production designer Grant Major (An Angel at my Table, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), costume designer Kirsty Cameron (Slow West, Whale Rider) and hair and makeup designer Noriko Watanabe (The Piano, Top of the Lake: China Girl).

Speaking ahead of the film’s world premiere Campion said, “It was an enormous pleasure to be working in my homeland with so many extraordinary Kiwi colleagues and particularly heart warming to hear my lead actors comment that they had never seen sets so well made or dressed with such incredible detail.  Working with the enthusiasm and love of this crew and cast and Thomas Savage’s masterful novel was a lifetime thrill and I’m very grateful to the New Zealand Film Commission and the country for their support.”

Following the film’s international premieres, New Zealanders will be the first in the world to see The Power of the Dog in theatrical release on November 11. The film will then debut on Netflix on December 1.

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