Wellington Scoop

Jane Campion named best director at Venice for her new feature

jane at venice

Wellington-born director Jane Campion has won her second major award at the Venice Film Festival.

At the awards ceremony this weekend she was named best director for her new feature The Power of the Dog, which she filmed in the South Island last year. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Wellington actor Thomasin McKenzie is in the supporting cast.

In 1990 at Venice, Jane Campion won the Special Jury Prize (and seven other awards) for An Angel At My Table, her film about the life of author Janet Frame.

The Power of the Dog will next be screening this month at the Toronto Film Festival.

It is then to have a theatrical release before being streamed on Netflix.

The Guardian’s reviewer calls it a “beautiful, brawny western.”

The New Zealand Film Commission was one of the investors in the film.

Interviewed by the Hollywood Reporter, Jane Campion says:

…the very next thing I’m going to do is start a pop-up film school in New Zealand. I know that people are working on the environment, but I’m working on the intellectual environment, the learning environment and educational environment. I want it to be for free. It’s really important to me that people have the option to become filmmakers without having wealthy parents. I know I’m going to get the money for it. I’ve spoken to Netflix about it and they’re going to support me doing it.

I’ll start with 10 students, I think. I also think it could be for people of any age group to explore their creativity. And people, too, who’ve done maybe a couple of features, but know that they need more education, they need more time to explore who they really are and what they could do, and how they can do it. I actually think that, barring dementia, you’re at your strongest in your capacity and your wisdom in your 60s and 70s. You’ve got insight, because you’ve got the length and breadth of a life behind you.


  1. NZFC, 12. September 2021, 11:19

    Huge congrats to Jane Campion who won Best Director at the Venice Film Festival for The Power of the Dog. It’s directed, written and produced by Campion and shot in NZ including Dunedin, Oamaru and Queenstown with a predominantly Kiwi crew. [via twitter]

  2. Traveller, 12. September 2021, 14:15

    I hope the new Campion film will be in the Wellington Film Festival in November – all her productions have had film festival premieres here, and festival filmgoers are enthusiastic admirers of her work. With her last film 12 years ago, Jane brought her famous father Richard Campion to the festival screening at the Embassy. (And let’s hope that, by November, it’ll be okay to have screenings in the big Embassy auditorium once more.)

  3. Claire1, 12. September 2021, 15:31

    What a great talent! Congratulations to Jane Campion.

  4. Kara, 13. September 2021, 10:54

    Looking forward to seeing more films from Jane Campion.