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Jane Campion: the President of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

jane campion, cannes, jacobs,
Written by Marc Pagnier Published May 16, 2014 Marc Pagnier

Rédacteur en Chef des titres en anglais, français et chinois.

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Jane Campion, the New Zealand director, producer and scriptwriter,  is to preside the jury of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. She came to Cannes for the first time in 1986. Since then, her passion for the Festival has never wavered.

Jane Campion dares say : My admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger. At the Cannes Film Festival they manage to combine and celebrate the glamour of the industry, the stars, the parties, the beaches, the business, while rigorously maintaining the Festival’s seriousness about the Art and excellence of new world cinema.

Jane Campion accustomed to “the first time”

Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d’Or, for her film The Piano in 1993. Back in 1986, her short film Peel had already been awarded the Palme d’Or – the first time ever in the Festival’s history.

Gilles Jacob described her in a few words:  “Once upon a time there was an unknown young director from Down Under who was proud that the Cannes Film Festival was going to present one of the three short films she had just made. But they were shot through with such courage and humanity and captured such a unique world that the Festival refused to choose and – in a masterstroke – screened all three. Jane Campion had arrived, and she brought a whole new style with her. That led to Sweetie, The Piano and more recently Bright Star – this marvelous film with such a poetic charm. You’ll hardly be surprised that amid such a welter of emotions, I’ve taken to calling her ‘My Lady Jane.’”

jane campion, lecon de piano,

Who is Jane Campion?

Born into a family of artists, Jane Campion studied anthropology and painting, before turning to film, in which she gained a fulgurant success. Her remarkable short films earned her the Palme d’Or. Her first film Sweetie (1989) was selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival and attracted international attention. After An Angel at my Table (1990), she was inspired by Janet Frame’s works and outlined a new story – an unusual woman who was in a painful quest of her own identity – The Piano, a film with which she won the Palme d’Or in 1993, and Holly Hunter was awarded the Best Actress ( accompanied by the unforgettable Harvey Keitel ) . A few months later, Jane Campion was nominated for the Oscars’ Best Director but won the Best Screenplay. Thereafter, her works portrayed various female characters engaged in an intense but frustrated quest for fulfillment: Portrait of a Lady in 1996 with Nicole Kidman, Holy Smoke in 1999 with Kate Winslet, In the Cut in 2003 with Meg Ryan. Her last film Bright Star, an original vision and fictionalized biography of the poet Keats and his muse, was presented in the Competition at Cannes in 2009. Jane Campion’s latest TV series, Top of the Lake, has received great public and critical acclaim. She developed her favorite themes in the series, depicting the splendor of nature, the outpouring of romantic passion and the revolt of women against the societies dominated by violence and machismo. Jane Campion is not only a remarkable filmmaker, but also an indefatigable pioneer.


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